Kobo Instant Messenger

Looking for: Biz developer

Kobo  Instant  Messenger  is  an  instant/social  messaging and Market place classifieds  app  that  is  primarily  targeted   towards  emerging  markets,  particularly  Africa,  South  America  and  South-­‐East  Asia.  It   comes  in  16  languages  (English,  Arabic,  French,  Spanish,  Italian,  Portuguese,  Russian,   Chinese,    Japanese,  Turkish,  Hebrew,  Danish,  Swedish,  Dutch,  German,  and  Norwegian)   with  an  attractive  easy  to  use  interface.  It is available on the Android and Blackberry OS platforms and is compatible with close to 7000 handsets/devices. It affords users to make new friends, buy, sell and trade goods and services, post and search jobs, and much, much more in a most secure environment.

It  has  an  efficient  authentication  feature  that  facilitates  user  registration  via  phone   numbers  and  offers  more  than  your  average  messenger  on  the  market  by  not  just   allowing  users  to  keep  in-­‐touch  with  their  friends  and  loved  ones  but  allows  users  to   make  new  friends  from  around  the  globe,  network,  advertise  goods  and  services,  buy   and  sell  new  and  used  items  and  much,  much  more.  

With  over  1000  persistent  chartrooms  from  over  200  countries  around  the  world,  Kobo   Instant  Messenger  has  ambitions  of  scaling  beyond  the  borders  of  Sub-­‐saharan  Africa   into  North  Africa,  South  America,  the  Middle  East  and  South  East  Asian  emerging   markets.  We  have  a  special  focus  for  countries  with  high  internet  penetration  in  Africa.  

Our  special  focus  countries  are  Nigeria  (with  an  estimated  63million  internet  users),   Egypt  comes  second  (with  an  estimated  36million  internet  users),  followed  by  Kenya   (21million),  Morocco  (16million),  South  Africa  (8.5million),  Tanzania  (5.6million),   Algeria  (5.2million),  Uganda  (4.3million),  Tunisia  (4.1million)  and  Ghana  (3.5million).  

By  being  'special  focus'  it  means  we  have  created  more  chat  room  privileges  for  users   from  these  specific  countries  in  accordance  with  the  number  of  major  cities  in  each  of 

them  (for  example,  for  Nigerian  users  on  the  system,  the  chat  room  list  for  Nigeria  will   contain  more  chat  rooms  for  the  over  100  major  cities  and  universities  in  the  country,   while  by  contrast  a  low  internet  penetration  country  such  as  Togo  will  have  only  the  8   basic  chat  rooms  to  visit,  also  another  high  internet  penetration  country  like  Egypt   would  have  over  50  chat  rooms  for  over  50  major  Egyptian  cities,  etc).


Our  target  customers  are  primarily  young  african  mobile  users  to  whom  mobile   internet  use  is  a  daily  habit  and  see  mobile  messaging  as  not  only  a  means  of  keeping  in   touch  with  friends  and  family  but  also  as  a  means  of  making  new  friends,  bypassing  sms   as  a  means  of  sending  messages,  and  have  embraced  social  messaging  as  a  viable   means  of  telecommunication.

The  geographic  characteristics  that  define  our  target  market:  They  are  young,  hip  and   internet  savvy  africans  who  own  a  mobile/smart-­‐phone  that  can  access  the  internet.  

Demographic  characteristics:  They  are  young  men  and  women  (both  single  and   married)  of  between  the  ages  of  18  and  24  years  old  who  are  uninhibited  about   socializing  and  meeting  new  people  and  making  new  friends.  

Psychographic  characteristics:  They  are  africans,  student  or  working-­‐class  and  are   willing  to  spend  money  on  products  that  they  perceive  will  add  value  to  and  enrich   their  lives.  Studies  have  shown  that  Nigerians,  for  example,  (with  over  170  million   inhabitants  and  an  army  of  an  estimated  50million-­‐plus  internet  user-­‐base  with   over100  million  mobile  subscribers),  spend  more  money  on  mobile  recharge  cards  than   they  spend  on  food.  More  and  more  of  these  recharge  cards  are  used  to  purchase   internet  bundles  that  enable  them  to  connect  their  mobile  devices  to  the  web  to  surf   and  socialize.  This  demographic  are  our  target  customers.      


Our  product  is  an  Instant  Messenger  that  doubles  as  a  social  networking  platform   (consisting  of  instant  messaging,  Chat  rooms,  Photo-­‐sharing)  and  Marketplace Classifieds app. 

Additional Info

  • Website: http://www.koboim.com
  • Time commitment: full time (40h/week)
  • Idea stage: generates some revenue