[Interview] John Enoh, CEO and Co-Founder, Beeptool, Nigeria
BeepTool Communications, a Nigerian fintech and VoIP company has been positioning itself to change the landscape of mobile communication and connectivity inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa by offering low cost ICT solutions to remote areas that have traditionally been locked out of conventional network coverage.
John Enoh, the co-founder and CEO, talked to Africa Business Communities about aligning the business to meet customers’ diverse and changing needs, and the company’s biggest project to distribute Humanity-BeepTool $1 smartphones for the poor Africans who cannot afford smartphones.
Tell us a bit about your company.
BeepTool Communication & Integrated Services Limited, “BeepTool” is a privately held VoIP, Instant Messaging and Financial services venture registered in Nigeria.
It has positioned itself as a fast growing proprietary cross-platform communication and fintech platform developer and operator with a vision to provide affordable communication and financial inclusion solutions especially in sub Saharan Africa.
Where is the company located?
We are currently at 23, Otunba Adeleke Adeshina Street, Off Admiralty Way Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.
When was the BeepTool founded and why?
BeepTool was formally registered in the third quarter of 2014 to deliver an African focused digital communication and financial inclusion solution. We launched our mobile app, BeepTool, same time fully integrated with calls, instant messaging and financial services functionality.
How is the company funded?
BeepTool has largely been self-funded with support from friends and family but we are on the market now seeking funding to scale our operations and take advantage of new product offerings that we have.
What are your company’s unique selling points?
Our unique selling proposition is “A single sign on ecosystem platform communication and fintech solution with dual connectivity that powers services even in remote and rural Africa with poor or no mobile network operator’s services coverage”.
How has the market responded to your services?
The market response has been good even though it could be better. The community of BeepTool users is more than 1,000,000 users strong with about 30 per cent active usage month on month basis from direct app and agent location networks.
Who are your clients?
Our users are Africans home and abroad who are taking advantage of the robust BeepTool platform to connect with friends and family, business partners and relations. With our new enterprise communication solution and nano-satellites based connectivity we hope to bring corporate organizations on board our platform too.
What are the changes your company has gone through since inception and what do they mean to the business?
As you are aware, technology keeps evolving. We seek to improve our users experience every time, this imply taking advantage of new technology as soon as they are available. We have re-designed BeepTool app a number of times, we have integrated services to the platform and we are on the ship of further development. This has helped us to improve our users experience, gain new users and grow our revenue.
Have you entered into any strategic partnership?
Yes we have strategic partnership with a number of companies
Sky and Space Global (ASX: SAS, nanosatellites connectivity of our app in area with poor or no mobile network operator’s services coverage in Africa).
Social Finance Systems (Distribution and operation of co-branded Humanity-BeepTool $1 smartphone for the poor Africans who cannot afford smartphone. We also have partnership agreement with Interswitch Nigeria Limited, JNFX International and TransferTo for mobile money and financial services.
How is competition in your industry and how do you weather it?
As a communication or fintech solution app development company, the competition has been stiff but we have added a number of innovations to our ecosystem platform which separated us from the rest of the crowd.
At the moment, BeepTool app is the first app in the world to be tested with a direct integration to nanosatellites grid. After the ongoing development is completed our users will have an unbroken communication and fintech experience.
BeepTool app can be used in remote and rural Africa for all of their communication and fintech needs even in location with poor or no mobile network operator’s services coverage in Africa. We hope to bring as many as possible on board.
The competition for rural solution is neither non-existent nor minimal and we want to take advantage of been an early comer in that segment.
What can be expected of your company in 2018?
We hope to complete our development of a full scale nanosatellites Narrowband communication operating in an electromagnetic spectrum S-band frequency enabled ecosystem apps and connectivity services followed by a field trial and a commercial launch planned for Q3 and Q4 2018 respectively.
We will commence distribution of co-branded Humanity-BeepTool $1 smartphones to base of the pyramid population to give them access to our range of services while recouping the actual cost of the phones through revolutionary advertisement services.
We will change the landscape of mobile communication and connectivity inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa when we complete our integrations to provide a narrowband enabled “border-less” communication and financial inclusion ecosystem apps services at an affordable cost which are alternative and complementary to MNO's and IPS's services in areas where the GSM services are less reliable and in areas with no GSM services coverage or costly ISP services in Africa and all its attendant encumbrances.
We hope to be one of the biggest providers of mobile communication and fintech inclusion services for the poorly connected, unconnected, banked and unbanked in Africa in the next decade.
What does your company need to grow and prosper?
At this stage, we need funding for the deployment and implementation of the revolutionary and affordable Nano-satellites enabled everyone, everywhere, everytime communication and connectivity network and the humanity-BeepTool $1 smartphone services and to scale our operation. Across Africa. If we are able to do this, “the sky is the lower limit (SAS)”
What is the latest news?
We have reached out to organizations, government entities and we have signed a number of Letter of Intent (LOI) for them to be part of our Humanity-BeepTool $1 Smartphone project and some to take advantage of the nanosatellites enabled services for their rural communication and fintech needs. Media announcements will be made once all are finalized.
Who should contact your company and why?
Our A-list include Investors to assist us in funding since there iis a huge growth opportunity for their investment.
Corporate organizations, government agencies, Non- government organizations and individuals who are working towards rural connectivity in Africa or whose role includes communication and financial inclusion.
Corporate organizations, government agencies, Non- government organizations and individuals to sponsor the real cost of Humanity-BeepTool co-branded $1 Smartphone for base of the pyramid population. A large part of Africa population lives below $2 a day and cannot afford smartphones.
Corporate organizations, government agencies, Non- government organizations and individuals to subsidize the cost of narrowband nano-satellites rural area connectivity terminals, calls and messaging cost, for communities in remote areas that are unconnected and unbanked.
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