Pan-African startup RateAfrika is set to launch a platform for customers to rate businesses and services on the continent as well as an advertising platform for businesses.
The startup, founded by three young entrepreneurs from East, North and South Africa, plans to launch in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria and Morocco in January, before expanding to the rest of the continent.
The startup says it discovered customers across Africa need information on where to get the best services and businesses, thus the decision to make it available in the three major languages – English, French and Portuguese.
“There is currently no platform in Africa that actually connects services to customers and owners efficiently, many do claim they do, but the simplicity and impact is just not there,” Stephen Ododah, RateAfrika chief executive officer (CEO), told HumanIPO.
“Africa has so much potential and the internet is just about to boom in this magnificent continent.”
He said RateAfrika provides both buyers and sellers with numerous benefits including the ability to reach customers by creating a marketing platform as well as receive feedback through customer reviews for businesses.
For customers, the platform allows them to find the best businesses and services as well as express their opinions through customer reviews.
Ododah said the platform will also enable business owners create a profile and follow their customers’ sentiments.
They will get infographics for a specific period of time in a click. Company staff can also have the option to receive notifications should someone comment regarding their business.
The startup will initially start off with restaurants and thereafter cover other sectors such as business and service providers.
To monetise, the company plans after six months of free listings to introduce advertising where business will have the option of advertising in their home countries or regionally depending on scope.
Businesses will also have the option of paying for better placing and visibility on the website with the startup expecting numerous businesses to register.
“If the business order wants to be listed on the first two pages, there is a cost to this. The “space” on the first two pages can be bought to up to six months. Each block on each space and on each page has a different price, space is limited to 16 businesses per region,” said Ododah.
RateAfrika has already carried out a study, which it claims shows huge potential on the continent and brought forth all the missing links between customers and businesses.
Ododah said: “Results, there is a huge potential that Africa is missing, and we will unlock this. After the launch in January, we will be upgrading the site, introducing something that has never been seen (April), let us just say this will keep people addicted to the website. Thereafter the site will be upgraded another three times during the course of 2014.”
Ultimately, Ododah said, RateAfrica will be the Yelp of Africa.