Nigerian company Lizzie’s Creations, which is behind episodic storytelling app AfroTalez, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to complete the development of new app Choices.
Disrupt Africa reported in May AfroTalez, which narrates traditional African folktales while incorporating the teaching of basic skills such as counting and object recognition, was set to launch its second episode this quarter.
Lizzie’s Creations is also moving forward with another project, Choices, an interactive mobile app that aims to create awareness of specific issues faced by African women. Users will play Cecilia, a teenage orphan who has to take care of her siblings alone on the streets of Lagos.
“The challenges she faces are best imagined. We believe it will make for a very entertaining experience while subtly educating young women about the various “choices” they have, no matter the situation. Issues handled will range from child rights to sexual health, teenage pregnancy, drug use and so much more,” said founder Elizabeth Kperrun.
The startup has launched an Indiegogo campaign in a bid to raise funds for the completion of the app’s first episode, while also looking to raise awareness of its upcoming launch.
“It is also a unique opportunity for us because crowdfunding hasn’t really kicked off in Africa. We would love to show that this is indeed a viable possibility for funding worthwhile creative projects,” Kperrun said.
The campaign will last for six weeks, with Lizzie’s Creations seeking US$6,000, which will cover development costs, art, programming and voice-acting for the first episode.
“Of course we will be very excited if we surpass our goal and can move on. We intend to make this a top quality app in all regards and our previous experiences are what allow us to produce results at this amount,” said Kperrun.
Choices – and the second episode of AfroTalez – are looking to follow up on the success of the first app, which has so far garnered over 50,000 downloads and won the Best Entertainment App award at the MTN Nigeria App Developer Contest.
The first episode was completely free, but Lizzie’s Creations is looking to monetise the second edition through a single in-app purchase per episode.
“The apps will be free to download, but at a certain point, the stories will pause and parents will need to make an in-app purchase to proceed in the story. The in-app purchase will also unlock a few special puzzles and extra content,” Kperrun told Disrupt Africa.
The startup is currently self-funded, and Kperrun said the lack of outside funding had been a major challenge thus far.
“Funding has been our major challenge, since we are basically a self-funded startup and yet to make any sales,” she said.
“We have a high quality team that is able to output these apps at a minimal cost, but even they require living needs. And of course funding for marketing and publicity, because we may have a great product but people need to hear about it.”
In spite of the challenges, Kperrun says there is huge potential in the e-learning market.
“It is estimated to hit US$107 billion in 2015 with the mobile e-learning market expected to be worth US$8.7 billion in 2015. This clearly shows a massive opportunity which we hope to be a part of,” she said.
E-learning startups have proven popular with investors in recent months, with Tanzania’s Ubongo Kids and Ghana’s Revo among those to have raised funding rounds lately. Disrupt Africa has also featured a number of e-learning startups from across the continent, notably Obami, Rekindle Learning, Rethink Education and Youngsoul.
Kperrun also believes monetisation will be achieved as Africans are increasingly ready for in-app purchases.
“However mobile transactions seem the way to go as it is easier for most people to pay out of their network airtime than to bring out a credit or debit card,” she said.
“We are looking towards working with major telecom companies to introduce operator billing. This we believe with make raising revenues for further development much faster.”