“I saw an opportunity to create an innovative mobile software app.”
- South Africa
- Year selected
Yeigo delivers innovative and engaging mobile applications and is a choice partner for other players in the South African communications industry. Yeigo is a mobile software application that leverages the flexibility and convenience of mobile phones, as well as the cost-effectiveness of the latest VoIP technologies, to offer significantly cheaper voice, chat and SMS services to consumers anywhere across the globe. Individual users can download the Yeigo application from the company’s website for free, communicating with other Yeigo users via voice, SMS, and chat at no cost, and with non-Yeigo users at rates far below the per-minute charges of the major service providers. The application can be downloaded directly to mobile phones without access to a PC, a major plus for cell-dense but computer-low environments in Africa, South Asia and Latin America.
Facing the prospect of their imminent graduation from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in late 2005, Rapelang Rabana, Wilter du Toit and Lungisa Matshoba all had one thing in common: none of the three wanted to follow their classmates into the corporate sector. Rapelang, Wilter, and Lungisa, who hail from Botswana, Cape Town, and East London, respectively, met while pursuing computer science degrees at UCT. It was during their final year of school that Wilter, while working on a mobile banking application, started to think about the potential of VoIP technology as applied to mobile phones. After beginning to develop the idea with Lungisa, the two realized that they needed a partner who would focus on business development, and Wilter called Rapelang to present the idea to her. As Wilter and Lungisa worked on developing a prototype, Rapelang wrote the company’s first business plan and in June of 2006, Yeigo was officially born.
Three months later two more recent UCT graduates had joined the team and the company had a working prototype. Just as the salary-less team scraped the bottom of their bank accounts, they secured an initial angel investment. On January 30, 2007, the team officially launched Yeigo. Today, Yeigo, offers a software application that allows VoIP technology to operate on mobile phones, offering voice, SMS, and chat services at rates dramatically lower than those of traditional mobile service providers. With 12,000 individual users already attracted purely by word of mouth and its first major business client secured less than a year after the application’s launch, Yeigo has the potential to capture a strong position in the potentially explosive mobile VoIP market.
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