As the wave of internet startups rave through Africa, Cameroonian technopreneur Mambe Churchill Nanje gets funding for his next startup. Camerborn.com somewhat of naijaborn.com is targeted at Cameroonians home and abroad to showcase themselves. The funding of CFA 2 million is around $4,561.23 USD which is enough to fund a startup in Africa. Mambe is the CEO of AfroVisioN Group and CTO of Naijaborn.com
I had a brief interview with Mambe just after announcing the founding on Facebook, read the excerpt below.
WTN: Web Trends Nigeria
WTN: what’s Camerborn.com all about?
Mambe: Camerborn.comis a product of SYS Networks Africa. It will be a social media ecosystem for Cameroonians at home and abroad…actually it’s a sister site of naijaborn.com
WTN: how many companies are behind this startup?
Mambe: one company runs it but it sub contracts AfroVisioN group and Qubestreet Media and entertainment for technology and media related work respectively.
WTN: Looking at it… it is a wonderful idea… how do you plan to carve a niche for it, considering competing sites like Facebook, Twitter and others?
Mambe: Camerborn.com will be for cameroonians at home and abroad. It will have highly targeted products and campaigns to the Cameroonian public something Facebook cannot do for a particular country. Camerborn will have a REST API where Cameroonian developers will build applications targeted at Cameroonians at home and abroad and also helping them grow their business locally and internationally.
WTN: We realized you’ve just got funded; who are the funders… are they individual or corporate VC?
Mambe: The funders so far are individuals who are digging into their savings and investing into the product!
WTN: How was the fund raising process … what unique thing helped you get the funding and what was their response at first?
Mambe: The fund raising process was easy. I have done other projects with these guys and they love working with me. So when I introduced the idea to them. They realized it was a good one. And they also understand a lot in the media and internet world. So they decided to be a part of the movement.
WTN: what’s your plan on how to utilize the fund?
Mambe: we will register the company in Cameroon, pay bills. and spend some of the money on media (advertising, events, code camps) this way we can raise a camerborn.com developers group where they build apps and do their own business.
After that we will launch in all Douala and Yaoundé, then expand to launch in all university and higher institutes of learning.
WTN: How is internet usage in the universities like (in Cameroon)?
Mambe: the Internet usage in university towns in Cameroon is quite high because they have a culture of using the internet for research and studies. Also for catching with their friends that left high school and went to Europe or just talking with their loved ones!
WTN: So when do we expect the first beta version?
Mambe: First quarter of 2010 hopefully March 2010.
WTN: Thank you for your time.
Mambe: Your welcome and thanks for the opportunity.
Update: Francis Oghuma of naijaborn.com is also a co-founder of this site.