Start-up of the week: in Cameroon, Phil John Technologies scans the paperwork of companies
Cameroonian startup Phil John Technologies offers solutions to companies to dematerialize their documents. After achieving a turnover of 23,000 euros in 2017, she is now trying to raise 500,000 euros.
“Companies are allowed to have a complete data storage process, from archiving to analysis and reporting,” says entrepreneur Philippe Nkouaya, founder of Phil John Technologies, a digital services company specialize in data management.
“All businesses that generate paperwork need our services,” he says. Our main clients are financial institutions, whether in finance or insurance, and law firms. ”
IN CAMEROON, 80% OF COMPANIES DO NOT HAVE AN ARCHIVAL SYSTEM.
The 27-year-old Cameroonian founded his start-up in 2017 after experiencing difficulties with his insurance following a disaster. “It took about a year to process my file, for the simple reason that they could not find my file. This is a big problem in Cameroon, where 80% of companies do not have an archiving system, “he explains.
Find a document in three seconds
The graduate in management information systems from the Institute of Computer Engineering Limoges, where he spent five years, then sought a solution allowing companies “to have a viable and fast system to find a document in three seconds. ”
“I also acquired technical and managerial skills by working for the companies Sanofi Pasteur and Business & Decision in France,” he adds. My goal was to train in France before returning to Cameroon. ”
This is not his first entrepreneurial project: in 2012, he had already launched the Hope Music label, and part of the Phil John Technologies team came from this first company. “This experience was useful to me. Having already started a business, I already knew the workings of entrepreneurship. Always active, Hope Music claims “60% of music distribution in Central Africa”.
The company was then launched with four partners, who brought in own funds. It has also benefited from a grant of 6,000 euros from the Embassy of France and AFD, granted as part of a program for Cameroonians who wish to return to the country to develop projects.
The founder of Philjohn Technologies lists two main difficulties encountered during the launch. “In Cameroon, it’s hard to understand the importance of having a decision-making information system,” he says. In addition, we lack the necessary funding to upgrade and improve our performance. ”
In addition to Cameroon, Phil John Technologies offers outsourcing solutions internationally. “We have customers in France, in the United States. We are more competitive because the workforce is cheaper here than in Europe, “he says. 102 companies work with Philjohn Technologies.
In total, 35% of the company’s turnover, which amounted to 23,000 euros in 2017, was realized abroad. Sales reached 32,000 euros in the first quarter of 2018, while the number of employees rose from 5 to 30.
And Nkouaya sets itself ambitious goals: “We want to reach a turnover of 150,000 euros in 2018, and increase 40% over the period 2019-2020.” This will require mobilizing funding of 500,000 euros. “Realized with international investors and Cameroonian, the fundraising is progressing well,” he reveals.