Most startups pick one problem and try to find a solution to it. Zambian startup NyamukAfrica sees so many issues that need addressing it is rolling out a number of solutions at once.
Founded in June and describing itself as a solutions hub, NyamukAfrica has now fewer than four, very different, products.
The first, and currently most developed, is NyamukaBooks, a cloud-based accounting solution for MSMEs.
“The market gap spotted was the unavailability of affordable tailor-made solutions to suit the African market,” said Joseph Chakopo, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of NyamukAfrica.
“While we acknowledge the existence of competitors outside the boundaries of Africa, a type of capital flight is taking place as every month many African businesses will have to send money overseas to continue using the services.”
NyamukaBooks changes all that, and already has 115 users. The bulk of its signups are in Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ghana, but Chakopo said the company is expecting significant growth as it targets the whole of Africa.
“We have a subscription-based revenue model,” he said. “Subscribers pay a minimum fee of US$4 and US$6 for the basic and premium packages respectively. We will also be offering payroll service among other additions.”
The company isn’t stopping there, however. At the same time, it is rolling out learning solution EduSongs, African travel service Top Destinations Africa, and energy platform Illumine Africa. To those that think NyamukAfrica is trying to do too much, too soon, Chakopo says the following.
“We are so diverse because the challenges facing our continent are equally diverse. We appreciate the importance of focusing on one product, but we cannot help it when the opportunity presents itself to build and deploy another solution,” he said. “Our strategy as a tech startup is to package solutions that we feel are necessary for the change we desire. We then get the right team to spearhead each and every solution.”
NyamukAfrica, then, is less a focused startup than a “hub for solutions”.
“That is our mandate. To be a hub of homegrown technology-based solutions to Africa’s problems. We are on the lookout for co-founders to come on board and take up our different initiatives as we speak. For each product we have a lead person dedicated to it,” said Chakopo.
Time will tell if this novel approach is the right one.