Logo MyAfricanStartUp

Africa 118 - MyAfricanStartUp 100


Africa 118
Telecom - Technology

Africa 118 is a database listing a large number of local companies in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, available online or via a dedicated hotline. The start-up ensures to promote these companies among the local population.

My African Startup
Maturity Level / Status Progress : Mature
Year of creation : 2010 / Turnover (USD) : / Turnover (USD) in 3 years :
Desired capital (USD) in 2017 :
Founder : Ezana Raswork / / www.africa118.com

Principle and genesis of the offer

In 2010, a study conducted in a Kenyan city showed that 85% of mobile phone users have difficulties finding easily a local company offering the service they were looking for, especially because 95% of the census companies have no website. Thus, Ezana Raswork looked for a way to tackle this lack of visibility of local companies and founded Africa 118 in 2010.

The start-up is developed around three main ideas. First, a complete and precise database must be created, censing as many local companies as possible. Second, Africa 118 offers these companies different ways to improve their online visibility, especially a website creation assistant. Third, the start-up sets up an efficient service to relate individuals to local companies meeting their needs.

As a result, an online directory also available as a voice mail service was created. The service was then launched in Uganda and Ethiopia. Africa 118 now tries to launch its product in other East African countries.

Customer Care

For the 100,000 daily users of the platform, the service can be accessed via a website developed by the brand, called InfoModby, and available in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. InfoMoby looks like a Yellow Pages search engine where the user can refine his search by locations and categories, leading him to information about the companies matching his needs including contact details. The directory is also available via a voice mail service in partnerships with phone operators: Safaricom in Kenya, Airtel in Kenya and Uganda and Ethio Telecom in Ethiopia.
For the companies, Africa 118 offers a full digital merchandising service including social media pages editing, website design, mobile apps, interactive maps, etc.

What is an innovation

Digital directories are already developed in many countries. The start-up is nonetheless innovative in the sense that it develops the product in an area where it was non-existent, taking the local context into account, for instance the very low internet usage by local companies tackled by Africa 118 with its digital merchandising offer.