Senegal’s NIMA Codes to launch address app in 15 African countries – TechCrunch
Senegalese startup NIMA Codes — a virtual mapping carrier for places with out formal addresses — has upgraded its app and plans to cross reside in 15 African countries in 2020.
The pre-seed level startup introduced in 2018 round an API that makes use of mobile-phone numbers to catalog coordinates for unregistered properties and companies in Senegal.
NIMA Codes is including a talk instrument to its platform, to assist customers find and touch upon carrier suppliers, and is integrating a photo-based location identifier, NIMA Snap, in the appliance.
“What we offer right now is a reliable street-addressing product. Because it’s very difficult for people…to communicate location in Africa and a lot of services are using location. So we need a service that can communicate reliable locations,” NIMA Codes co-founder and CEO Mouhamadou Sall instructed TechCrunch.
By a number of ratings, NIMA Codes has develop into a top-three downloaded navigation app in Senegal (for Android and iOS). The platform has 16,000 subscribed customers and has recorded greater than 100,000 searches, in accordance to Sall.
He and co-founder Steven Sakayroun (a device engineer and IBM alum) got here up with the theory for assigning location coordinates to cellular numbers in earlier device construction roles.
“If you look at street addresses in North America, in the end they are just a way to name longitude and latitude, because the computer doesn’t know what 6th Avenue really means,” Sall stated.
Because mobile-phone penetration in Senegal and broader Africa is prime, cellular numbers function an invaluable reference level to connect location data tagged for each properties and companies, Sall defined. Mobile-phones too can function an access level for folks to enter location coordinates to NIMA Codes’ database.
There are benefits to assigning coordinates to digits, as opposed to letters, in Sub-Saharan Africa with its hundreds of language groupings, Sall defined. “Nima Codes is a cross-border and language-agnostic solution,” he stated.
Sall believes that may paintings to the startup’s benefit when it expands services and products and database construction to all 15 countries of the Economic Community of West African States by means of the top of 2020.
NIMA Codes remains to be plotting potentialities for its very best use-cases and income technology. It hasn’t secured companions but and remains to be figuring out how the ones downloading the app are the use of it. “Right now it’s mostly people who download the app…and register locations. Some delivery companies may be using it and not telling us,” stated Sall.
The startup plans to generate income thru partnerships and API utilization charges.
Sall believes NIMA Codes’ new image-based location and chat-based industry seek purposes may come in combination — akin to Google Maps and discovering within sight puts — to create industrial income alternatives throughout traders in West Africa’s massive, casual economies.
Another obtrusive plug-in for NIMA Codes’ carrier is Africa’s fast-growing ride-hail and supply markets. Sall issues to 2019 information that Uber paid $58 million over 3 years for map and seek services and products.The U.S. ride-hail corporate has additionally examined an image-based instructions app known as OKHi in Kenya. And there are stories of Uber’s forthcoming growth into Senegal.
Whatever the appliance, Sall believes NIMA Codes is cornering a central level of call for in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The use case is so big, you need to start with something and eventually expand,” he stated.
“But everything wraps around having a reliable location service for people and small business.”