Kintrack, located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has developed an app-based platform to track vehicles and children. The company was started in 2019. Founder Cedric Singa answers our questions.
1. Give us your elevator pitch.
Kintrack does tracking, fleet management and remote monitoring of children. This tracking information is available on a mobile app. We have specific tracker devices that we install on vehicles. To monitor children, we have a GPS-enabled watch as well as a small device which children can put in their pocket. These devices work everywhere, even in areas with no internet connection.
2. How did you finance your startup?
I had saved some of the money I earned at the previous company where I worked.
3. If you were given $1 million to invest in your company now, where would it go?
Half of the money would go towards deploying Kintrack in all the major cities in the DRC. Currently we are only operating in Kinshasa, but in the future we want to be present in cities such as Lubumbashi, Goma, Kisangani and everywhere in the country.
The remaining $500,000 would go towards new projects. One of these is a robotic cleaning service for airports, hotels and public areas. We will also invest in the utilisation of satellite data, drone imagery and field-level analysis to help farmers monitor their crops and improve their production. Another idea we would like to pursue is Kintrack Delivery Services. To achieve all this, we would set up a training facility where people would be trained in electronic engineering, robotic geolocation systems and remote sensing.
4. What risks does your business face?
The high amount of taxes and charges the government expects small businesses to pay.
A further challenge is the lack of reliable internet access. This is why we have moved the server that hosts our system to another country.
The general lack of awareness about technology in Central Africa is also a risk to our business. This makes it difficult to sign up new customers as everything needs to be explained to them in-depth.
5. So far, what has proven to be the most successful form of marketing?
The most successful form of marketing is to meet customers, such as logistics and transportation companies, face to face. We meet them at conferences and also use social media to introduce people to our services. New customers have to see how the system works to understand its advantages.
6. Describe your most exciting entrepreneurial moment.
The most exciting moment was when we presented our business at the Kinshasa Seedstars 2019 competition. Most of the people at the event didn’t know that a Congolese man could do something like this. We have companies offering similar services in Kinshasa, but they all use computer software, not an app. It was very interesting for people to hear about our solution.
7. Tell us about your biggest mistake.
No marketing hack, funnel, software or social media can make a business successful. I have made the mistake of spending too much time on social media and looking for magical hacks that could boost sales, instead of concentrating on tasks that really produce revenue. In business, it is the little stuff that kills the big stuff. Now I’m investing my time exclusively on activities and tasks that produce revenues.
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