Taxi Tracker, African application that addresses the insecurity in public transport
Regis Bamba is a young Ivorian entrepreneur and engineer who spent 27 years in the IT department at the American University in Towson , Maryland. He is now the founder 's Intelgeo Ivorian startup specializing in cloud and creating solutions and mobile functions. Regis is also the origin of Taxi Tacker, a mobile application whose purpose is to meet the challenge of insecurity in the transport of Abdidjan, especially in taxis. Indeed, Taxi Tracker enables any holder of smartphones to follow and learn in real time on his family traveling by taxi, simply by entering the registration number of the taxi in the application, which records the location and GPS coordinates travelers. Buoyed by a strong pull, Taxi Tracker is already in full development and already eyeing several cities expand internationally. Regis also talks about the development of new technologies in Ctoe d'Ivoire and the role it plays in the local ecosystem through its initiative Code.ci , a training and mentoring accelerated for beginners and developers future Ivorian startupeurs who wish to develop and acquire practical and operational skills, allowing them to move very quickly to the execution: create a new Android application code in Java, etc..
Hello Regis! You just launched a new application that has caused a stir on the African francophone startup scene: Taxi Tacker . Where did the idea you are and can you tell us what is the audience for this application.
This application addresses a real problem every day here in Abidjan and in Africa more generally, that of improving the safety of persons in transport. Taxi Tracker can actually change things. The idea came to me after a discussion with a good friend of mine (Frank Baye) about insecurity in Abidjan public transport and in particular for transport by taxi, a situation that leads regularly on various facts sometimes very serious. We immediately thought of an idea of Android application to identify all the taxi drivers of a city that would be listed in a secure database via a mobile.
This enables customers to identify themselves taxis drivers and make sure they travel in perfect safety. Our discussions continued a few days then we quickly went from idea to execution: in a few days, we already have a testable version Beta Google Android. Very quickly, we had a very strong pull, almost instantly: since March 28, ie less than 20 days, we have approximately 4200 users, with very good feedback and a continuous increase with almost a thousand new Users who download the app every week, and this is only the beginning! Our application is free and the mouth works full here in Cote d'Ivoire: our metrics show that we could surpass the 10,000 users a month.
You plan to extend this application to other international cities?
Yes, we consider the example of cities like Lagos, where the issue of security in public transport is essential. Here we respond clearly to local challenges, bringing an already proven in a large African capital, Abidjan solution. In Francophone we are already thinking about expanding in Dakar where we can meet our solution a strong echo. To carry out these international expansion projects, in addition to potential partnerships we are seeking funds to strengthen our team of developers, also to strengthen our sales and marketing division. Strengthening our human resources is crucial today to accompany our current takeoff.
Can you tell us about your initiative Code.ci : accelerated to teach Ivorian to code and take in the digital is not it training?
In Cote d'Ivoire, there is a huge lack IT skills, particularly in skilled developers. And too many of our IT engineers leave school without really knowing develop applications Code.ci mission to teach these developers to install - very quickly - in range by learning knowledge enabling them to encode their first Android applications and can be used very quickly on the market for digital use: mobile off across Africa and it is also the case in Cote d'Ivoire. We are currently in the Java language and Android.
We have already trained a dozen young developers since our launch a few weeks ago. Our training sessions last two weeks, with supervision by engineers and mentors specialized in information programming, which are all part of Intelgeo, which I direct. Once trained, most of our students want to use their skills to develop their own application ideas and why not launch startups in Ivory Coast!
According to you, Cote d'Ivoire it can become in the coming years a hub for startups West Africa to the image of Kenya for East Africa?
It will take much time, but we can do! We must also acknowledge the government's desire to take better account of the initiatives taken by entrepreneurs administrative demarches are faster than before and was recently organized a competition for young entrepreneurs with the key to almost 75 million CFA Francs price. But we also need more public funding but also private to help us grow and to encourage project sponsors. Nevertheless, challenges remain significant, beginning with the training of engineers due to the lack of skills, Code.ci trying to meet this need. Another important obstacle, the cost of the internet: slow, random, it is still far too expensive and is clearly an obstacle for web entrepreneurs and local digital ecosystem.