TechInAfrica – Meet Nuno Soares, the WenaData founder – WenaData is a multi-platform technological project that is truly innovative and offers solutions and services for citizens and organizations. The startup is helping in making strategic decisions.
First of all, can you pitch us your company in just a few sentences?
WenaData is an innovative research company, focused on obtaining all kind of statistical data. It´s an instrument that government, private sector and other institutions can use as an educational vehicle, barometer for the collection of useful information and help in making strategic decisions. For this purpose, it was developed specific software, a website and a mobile application (android version), with a series of associated research tools. Although access to new technologies is expanding, there is a significant percentage of the Mozambican population without access to the internet, smartphones and computers, faced with this reality we also have the possibility to do studies on site or through USSD technology.
Can you tell us more about yourself, your personal background, your experience and how you went to this journey?
The idea comes from a group of people with some projects in common. We wanted to start a business in an area that was not properly explored in our country, with a different approach to the market and that really made a difference. It took us about a year to develop the entire project. A trial version was initially released in July 2017 and on December 18 the final version was released.
Can you tell us more about Mozambique? Why this market?
Mozambique is a country that still lacks many things and this generates opportunities. Anyone who has a good idea, will and commitment, ends up being able to implement it. We entered this journey because we wanted to make our contribution to the nation we love so much. The country and the people still need a lot, there are countless sectors to undertake, it’s an endless world. There is plenty of space to innovate and offer things differently.
What are the main issues you have been facing with WenaData in Mozambique?
The Mozambican market is still a bit closed, we would like it to have a more open mind in order to better accept the new technological platforms, because they are the future.
Who are your main competitors around? And outside of the country, who are your inspiration?
The Mozambican market lacks services similar to ours, there are only small fragmented companies with specific services and do not offer a set of complete and efficient solutions as ours. As far as our inspiration is concerned, there are international platforms that we see as references. Such as SurveyMonkey and Google, successful companies that do some of our services, although we take a different approach. We have the dream that someday we might become like them.
What is your point of view, as a startup founder, about Mozambique? What do you think is lacking to Mozambique to develop it more? What are the main barriers to develop a startup there?
It is necessary to realize that entrepreneurship is a tool that can contribute to the economy of the country, we must create a series of mechanisms that facilitate the process. We must build an environment that facilitates and attracts innovation and the emergence of startups, plus tax benefits so that a favourable ecosystem emerges.
Is it hard to find investors there?
Yes, it’s quite complicated. I believe that the government should take this issue more seriously and create a mechanism to bring investors and startups together. Investors still have some fear of betting on new business. There should be actions to raise awareness of society and show that startups and SMEs can really generate business and help in the country’s development.
What is your perspective for the next years on Mozambique and more regionally on Africa?
Mozambique has a constantly growing market. Recent oil and gas discoveries in the country have affected the economy, and there has been a need to create several new jobs in different areas. We believe that in the coming years the economy will grow. Our opportunities are infinite and will not run out over the next years.
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 Mozambique?
We are trying to contribute to the development of our country, but we are not the only ones. There are other companies and startups with many interesting products in our market and somehow making a difference in their own way. For example, UX has launched the Emprego platform that brings the employer closer to the person seeking employment. IdeaLab, an incubator with a young approach that helps boost other businesses, there are more cases like Izzishop, Anima and many others.