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Nana Osei Afrifa, Chief Executive Officer of local IT firm Vokacom, the company that designed the Ghana Post GPS app for the National Digital Property Addressing System, has revealed his firm wanted to partner developers of SnooCODE – another locally-developed app for digital addressing but the move hit a snag.
According to Mr Afrifa, the money demanded by Sesenam Dagadu, developer of SnooCODE, was in excess of £5million.
“When the [GhanaPost app] bid opened, immediately I asked Innohub [a partner of Vokacom] to come and help us. Innohub made a recommendation that: ‘Let us work with Sesenam on this one because you (Vokacom) has structure and money, he has top-of-mind awareness and the two working together will have a strong partnership because international parties will be applying for this job. We made another approach for Sesenam to work together and he came back saying he wanted to work except that this time around the valuation he was putting on his company, the money we had to give him was well in excess of £5million, and I told [him]: ‘Come on there is no way we are going to do this business’”.
This was after Sesenam Dagadu had participated in one of Innohub’s competitions in order to benefit from funding for SnooCODE.
Mr Afrifa explained that Vokacom helps startups by providing them with funding.
He said they gave Innohub, which specialises in supporting budding startups, an amount of $50,000 in 2016 to organise a competition and help new firms in the area of agribusiness, IT and manufacturing among others. This, he said was done in collaboration with the British Council and Venture Capital Investment Trust.
“One of the people who applied to this programme was Sesenam Dagadu of SnooCODE. When he applied, one of the concerns the organisation had was that SnooCODE had top-of-mind awareness, people had known about it already, so, why would SnooCODE come for $10,000 for 15% stake in the company, which sounded odd. I read the response of the CEO of the company who said that Sesenam actually gave them assurances that it wasn’t just about the money but they were also interested in technical support and all the other things that we will be giving as part of the package that we were going to have,” he explained.
Mr Afrifa indicated that he later contacted Innohub and informed them that “SnooCODE had a product which was similar to something that we had and we are interested in expanding the scope of this project so please ask them to come and let us have a conversation about expanding our relationship. The gentleman came to my office, we had some discussion and he said he had some financiers in UK and said he had to contact them first”.
“Unfortunately, he came back to say that his financiers did not find enough information about Vokacom, so, they did not want to work with us and that was as far as our relationship ended,” he said on Joy FM on Monday, October 30.
It was after this interaction that Vokacom contacted the developers of SnooCODE to develop the GhanaPost app but that did not materialise.
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