The mobile ecosystem in Kenya has been growing at a tremendous rate, the most evident statistic is the sheer number of developers and creative’s seeking to make a living in the technology industry. Numerous events and initiatives have formed around this vertical and I believe it serve as a sure sign that we are not in a bubble as many – both within and without the tech arena would allude.
Mobile Monday is one such initiate whose Kenyan chapter was started just over 15 months ago. It is a global community of mobile industry visionaries, developers and influential’s fostering cooperation and cross-border business development through virtual and live networking events to share ideas, best practices and trends from global markets. The mandate of MoMo as it is popularly known is to encourage innovation within the mobile sector, facilitate networking between small and large companies, help local companies effectively participate in international initiatives through the import and export of visions, concepts, technologies, know-how and best practices, present innovative visions, trends, studies and forecasts from the mobile marketplace, facilitate and create partnerships and to contribute to the education of the broader public through its publications, online presence and media partnerships. Over the past couple of months, Mobile Monday has been holding its meetups under the theme of “Local Developers and their Successes”. Local application developers have been given a platform to talk about their work and share the numbers. The three part series saw a presentation by Nokia on their consumer app ideas competition that gave local developers insights into what the market was looking for, and a host of local applications. Some of the projects highlighted were Gari Noma by Joseph Karanja, a car theme which at the time of presenting had over 94,000 downloads worldwide, Tuvitu a widget platform by Shimba that is edging closer to the 40,000 download mark locally and AroundMe a social utilities application by James Mwai that has seen 150,000 downloads worldwide.
As the series came to a close on Monday the 28th, the best was saved for last. This was in the form of one Dadiaus Misiani a self-billed freelance developer, who holds a regular 8 to 5 job but develops mobile applications in his free time. Dadiaus has developed quite a number of apps and he shared numbers of the interesting kind, that speak of the revenue generated. He started his application development journey as a publisher this year and so far has publishes 40 apps with both local and global audiences.
His Tour Kenya application, that offers travelers information on points of interest in Kenya and which is offered as a paid application on the Nokia Ovi Store has since the month of May generated 500 euros just from application purchases. On apps targeted to global audiences, the series of translators that he built have in the space of twenty five days generated 4,000 Euros from purchases. By plugging into mobile ad networks, the applications have brought in USD 2,000 over the same period.
Do the math. Are you smiling?