Entrepreneur watch: Africa’s version of Foursquare
Ebot Tabi is a Cameroonian software developer and one of the founders of Geofeed.me, a location-based service and application, which allows people to connect and share information about places they visit. The service has been referred to as Africa’s version of popular location-based social network Foursquare.
Launched in June 2010, Geofeed.me allows users to interact on their mobile phones or the website, to share and discover recommendations. Users can easily recommend a shop or restaurant to friends and post photos of that place. Geofeed.me learns about the user, personalising those recommendations. One user might see a good rating for a bar, while another will see a bad rating for the same bar, depending on the taste of that user.
“My inspiration behind Geofeed.me is to build a simple and reliable platform for users to be able to share their favourite places and photos and to make it easier for businesses and marketers to push advertisements based on location,” says Tabi.
Tabi and his two Nigerian partners are currently working on further improving the network. “The service has received a great deal of media attention and some good feedback. This is giving us a lot of momentum to go ahead and introduce new features and scaling-up the service,” he says.
Although the small team is currently focused on growing the service, they eventually plan to generate revenue from location-based ad systems as well as selling geo-location data to marketers.
Being a technology entrepreneur in Cameroon is, however, not without its challenges. “Some of the challenges I face on a daily basis are the availability of reliable internet access at an affordable price and a poor electrical grid system,” explains Tabi.
And his message to other technology entrepreneurs on the continent? “Africa has got talent, I have met a lot of them. Technology entrepreneurs in Africa should come out and showcase their talent and make us proud.”