The social networking and messaging space may well be dominated by global giants like Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram, but Cameroonian startup Dikalo wants to take the giants on, with its localised Africa-specific social communications platform.
Dikalo offers a messaging platform connecting friends, but also enables users to chat with strangers by sharing a unique code opening up a public conversation. The platform offers a variety of Africa-relevant graphics and emoticons.
Alain Ekambi, founder of Dikalo, says the startup was launched to create a homegrown social network by Africans for Africans, allowing people to engage and make new connections in a fun and secure way.
“With Dikalo we aim to create an Africa-focused communication platform – something like WeChat in China or Hike Messenger in India. With almost half a billion people online in Africa and not a single African-owned platform – we felt like this has to be fixed,” Ekambi says.
Originally launched in 2016, Dikalo has had a number of pivots and relaunches, and in its current form has been operating since early 2017.
Ekambi plans to add a range of in-app services, for example, users will soon be able to make mobile-money transactions within the app, to make Dikalo a comprehensive communications platform with various value-added elements.
“The idea is to have a place where we can offer Africa-focused services but also connect the African continent in a fun and unique way without waiting for Facebook or Google to do it for us,” he says.
“Dikalo wants to be the gateway of how Africa goes online.”
So far, the platform has 20,000 users, and is available via web, iOS and Android apps.
There’s still a lot of work to do, and bootstrapped to date, Dikalo will soon look to start fundraising to enable the startup to grow its user base, and hire new team members.
“We are working on a platform that we believe could become something great if done right with the help of the right people,” Ekambi says.
“Dikalo will survive because we will offer something familiar yet different than anything else on the market, by embracing our African identity instead of mimicking what’s already out there.”
Disrupt Africa Disrupt Africa is a one-stop-shop for all news, information and commentary pertaining to the continent’s tech startup – and investment – ecosystem. With journalists roaming the continent to find, meet, and interview the most innovative and disruptive tech startups, Disrupt Africa is a true showcase of Africa’s most promising businesses and business ideas.
Our readers can keep up-to-date with the quirky world of tech hubs and accelerator programmes; and our reporters provide live coverage of the all-important tech and entrepreneurship events across Africa.
For our startup, entrepreneur, and investor friends alike, our mission is to provide practical information and advice from across Africa’s varied vibrant markets, and to promote engaged and thought-provoking discussion about the exciting ecosystem we belong to. Go to: http://disrupt-africa.com/
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This Message Board accepts no liability of legal consequences that arise from the Message Boards (e.g. defamation, slander, or other such crimes). All posted messages are the sole property of their respective authors. The maintainer does retain the right to remove any message posts for whatever reasons. People that post messages to this forum are not to libel/slander nor in any other way depict a company, entity, individual(s), or service in a false light; should they do so, the legal consequences are theirs alone. Bizcommunity.com will disclose authors' IP addresses to authorities if compelled to do so by a court of law.