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[INTERVIEW] Luis Verdeja, Jobartis, Angola

Hi Luis,

We’re really happy to have you on TechInAfrica, to tell us more about your startup Jobartis and your perspective on the new economy in Angola.

First of all, can you pitch us your company in just a few sentences?
Luis: Jobartis Group is a career classifieds for the African continent, combining a jobs classified – Jobartis – and an education classified – Educartis – to cater the needs of everyone in Africa willing to improve its status quo. Jobartis has been operational two years now, in which we have become the leading job brand in Angola. It’s little sister, Educartis, has just now become live, and will be present from start in 10 different African countries.

Can you tell us more about yourself, your personal background, your experience and how you went to Jobartis?
Luis: I am the CEO of Jobartis, originally geared towards an international economics career (experience at the UN, WTO, EU, PhD in Economics), I needed some more of a rush than international bureaucracy. When the business opportunity was found, it was just a matter of putting together the right team. Becoming an entrepreneur has been the best decision in my life.

Can you tell us more about Angola? Why this market?
Luis: Angola is the 5th largest economy in Africa and up till the oil crisis the fastest growing. Yet, it has a considerable technological backlog, probably due to the 30-year war that only ended in 2002. As such, there are very few competitors in the online market. I cannot think of any other country in the world where you can find at once such an economic size and such a lack of competitors.

What are the main issues you have been facing with Jobartis in Angola?
Luis: Internet and internet services are still quite recent, therefore we are seeing the importance of “educating” the country on the use of our services.

Who are your main competitors around?
Luis: We do not face any direct competitor (understanding by direct competitor other job boards based in Angola). Indirect competitors include Portuguese job boards (Net-empregos, Sapo), general classifieds (OLX), Linkedin and further away, offline competitors.

What is your point of view, as a startup founder, about Angola?
Luis: Angola is a very challenging country (enormous red tape, rent-seeking, high prices, low capacity of human resources, poor infrastructure…). If you are ready to fight against all these, you will find the best business opportunities in the world.

Is it hard to find investors there?
Luis: Yes. International tech investors have not yet been attracted to Angola. Why is that? Maybe the language? Maybe Angola’s opportunities are not know abroad? Local investors are not interested in the online world.

What do you think is lacking to Angola to develop it more? What are the main barriers?
Luis: High oil prices have made the country lazy in developing very much needed reforms to diversify the economy. I feel things are changing now and the government is decided to improve the business environment. As for the second question, read my prevous answer.

What is your perspective for the next years on Angola and more regionally on Africa?
Luis: Angola is undergoing light-speed development and is going to intensify when the internet sector develops as it will surely do in the short run. More globally, Africa is the last corner of the world where there is still space for players to capture large unspoiled markets. On top of the mobile phone revolution that the country is experimenting, there is a story to be told about internet in Africa.

As you know, we are always on the look of great startups, new products and amazing entrepreneurs, could you name a few locally or regionally in Africa?
Luis: The entrepreneur world in Angola is limited. A few motivated local businesses include: Bitfair, Angolacarro, Proxy Pay, Luanda Nightlife.

Thanks for your time, and we’ll keep our readers up to date with your startup updates!

More about Jobartis:
www.jobartis.com

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