SA’s VIGO upgrades website-building platform, launches Premium Design offering


South African website-building startup VIGO has launched its Premium Design offering, allowing customers to purchase pre-designed websites an annual fee.

VIGO first launched in August 2013, and offers an online website builder that enables users – even if they do not have the relevant skills – to create their own professional websites.

The service works on any device, providing people with only mobile phones and tablets with a way to get their businesses online in a professional manner without breaking the bank.

VIGO’s new Premium Design offering gives entrepreneurs and business owners a quick, easy and affordable solution to get their business online with the help of VIGO’s account managers.

Chief executive officer (CEO) Carl Wallace said VIGO was making strides to become the preferred website builder for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“VIGO’s subscribers are our most valuable asset and as a team we work extremely hard to offer them the most user-friendly experience possible. Through continuous innovation, our subscribers are guaranteed maximum product satisfaction and are assured that they always have access to the best tools and technology to market their brand to a global audience,” he said.

Wallace said the latest offering is just the “tip of the iceberg” compared to the planned product innovation that will culminate with the launch of the third version of VIGO later in the year.

Disrupt Africa reported in February VIGO had set itself a goal of helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) prosper, and was gaining significant traction itself as a result.

“SMEs are failing rapidly all over the place as only 20 per cent of startups make it past year one for multiple reasons,” Wallace said.

“We are trying to change this figure by working closely with corporates to provide the tech and information that will slow down the failing rate. Naturally anyone can use VIGO, personal, small or large companies. However my personal goal as an entrepreneur is to help other entrepreneurs become successful. That’s what drives me.”

VIGO itself, however, is seeing success from its platform. Wallace believes it will hit 50,000 businesses by the end of this year. The company raised ZAR10 million (US$850,000) in its first funding round, and is in the process of raising another ZAR20 million (US$1.7 million). Meanwhile, it is looking to expand further having already launched in Kenya and Nigeria.

Wallace has attributed the startup’s growth to the fact it is satisfying a serious need within Africa’s SME sector.

“African business owners are desperately in need of a solution that works for them. Something so simple that they can use on any device without it being complicated. VIGO was developed in Africa for Africans in order to help African businesses thrive,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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