Currently in test phase, the trial web version of the app has been in use offline since October 2012. It will launch in April on selected smartphone devices.
The app assists users with inventory and bookkeeping features. Globally available and compatible with all currencies, the app enables the installation of data, providing a meaningful report via a local management platform.
The customer only has to enter the item sold and its cost, and the app performs the rest of the process. No accounting knowledge is needed to use the program, founder Titus Mawano told HumanIPO.
Further roll out of the program will be based on reception, Mawano said. Follow up launches on BlackBerry and feature phone platforms are being considered.
Mawano explained the problem Ffene is trying to solve is the low efficiency of African business administration. Through a series of mini sites, the web program can be accessed through mobile phones, making it easy for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), especially startups which do not have funds to pay accountants.
However, Mawano said he does not regard the app as a replacement for an accountant. The app can also be used for personal budgeting purposes.
The business started in June 2012 and recently won US$10,000 in the Africa Apps competition, which provided the funding for the startup.
Without marketing, according to Mawano, word of mouth promoted the availability of the service, following with approximately 100 signups at present.
Originally aimed at Kenyans and Ugandans, mostly African users are currently employing the accounting tool.
After the broadcast over British Broadcasting Co-operation (BBC) radio, signups have grown, including users from Botswana and Zambia.
Mawano said the company is also looking at definite plans for further planting of offices to have additional human presence elsewhere rather than solely in Uganda.
“We want to have an African presence as much as possible,” Mawano said.
He believes there is a market for developing products as the current alternative options to Ffene are “quite expensive with no added support with a program towards developing an African presence”.
The cost of the service is currently charged on a monthly basis, for UGX200–300 (US$10) and can also be paid in yearly fees of UXG3,000 (US$100).
He added: “Honestly, based on the breadth of the problem to be solved, there are no competitors, locally at least.
“I am not saying it won’t come. The problem is really huge, and not prohibited in solving.”
Furthermore Mawano is “not worried about being annihilated”.