In the second of our series of interviews with our wonderful MPA16 finalists we chat to Verge POS’ Francis Osifo about app marketing, the future and more.
App Summary: Simple and intuitive retail POS system for micro-to-medium sized retailers within Africa. Allows easy managerial access on tablets and mobiles for daily concerns.
1. Tell us about yourself, where did you grow up and what are your interests.
My name is Francis Ogochukwu Osifo, a christian, a husband to a beautiful wife, a Nigerian from a family of four kids. I grew up in Benin city, Edo state, Nigeria until after completing my secondary education and moved to Lagos State, fell in love with technology along the way and how it is implemented and used by everyday individuals; went on to build tech solutions and businesses focused on solving local problems within Nigeria and Africa. My interests range from Music, Sports, Technology(Mobile, AI, Web, Data) to travel and culture.
2. How did you get involved in mobile technology
Well it all started a few years back when development of mobile apps with HTML5 was gaining attention with PhoneGap and from my experience with web development it was easy to quickly adapt the knowledge towards developing for mobile and then along with a very close friend Peter Ihesie we got into the Nokia Growth Academy in Lagos ( this really helped improve understanding and considerations when developing for mobile), my friend’s project that got us into the Growth Academy won the World Summit awards. And with every passing day it became clear the significance mobile apps play in delivering solutions to end users. Our first focus when developing Verge was to support existing POS infrastructure by integrating with the largest local solutions but it was also very clear that hundreds of thousands of retailers either could not afford existing solutions in the market, the solutions didn’t address prominent local business challenges or outright complexity of the products and that is what we went ahead to develop with VergePOS.
3. Who was involved in the building of the apps and their roles?
Myself, Kehinde Adegbesan, Sunday Akinsete. Kehinde handled our API development and extension for mobile, Sunday handled the core product development while I handled the UX design, Product requirement, Testing and Business development.
4. After winning Appcircus did your app downloads increase?
At the point of winning Appcircus we just released the first iteration of the product to the App Store (Google Playstore) and just started promotion for our mobile POS offering so there was no significant increase in downloads, part of which is also due to the channels of promotion for the event and the customer segment we are addressing.
5. Have you received funding for further app development?
At the moment no, but we just started a fundraising round while improving our product offerings, customer development and partnerships.