Sadiq Okocha Traffix.ng founder and University of Texas at Austin alumni told TechMoran he founded the application March 2013 and working with Nigeria’s Think First Technology team officially launched Traffix July 7.
“I was inspired by the twitter accounts if @Gidi_Traffic @TrafficButter who do a great job of crowdsourcing Lagos traffic alerts from all our commuters,” Okocha told TechMoran. “The problem with these services is that their is a lot of noise an you must literally sift through hundreds of tweets before finding information that’s relevant to you. So, we decided to make a dedicated network for Lagos commuters. You won’t be interrupted with information like what your cousin had for breakfast,” he said.
Okocha said Traffix.ng will be expanding out of Lagos in due time, expanding both nationally and internationally. They have also been contacted by a South Africa cab sharing startup which intents to launch in Nigeria and Kenya after its Cape Town launch.
At the moment, Traffix is expecting its user base to increase as it adds more engaging features gradually. Okocha says Traffix didn’t launch all its features at once so as not to overwhelm its users. “We are slowly introducing these updates.”
Local competition includes the twitter handles : @Gidi_Traffic and @TrafficButter but what separates them is that Traffix is dedicated only to Lagos traffic and it’s a social network for people on the move and has a much cleaner interface than twitter accounts. Traffix is also able to rate traffic into five categories: Very Slow, Slow, Average, Fast, Very Fast.
Users can also make requests for a traffic update and other users will reply them if they have any information on the traffic. Traffix also gives badges to its top members. According to Okocha, the Chairman badge is the most sought after one and is awarded to only one member in each Lagos neighborhood.
Currently, Traffix is self-funded, although the startup is on discussions with two telecoms for a potential partnership. The telcos can promote their brand on Traffix’s site in exchange of traffic updates to telco users via SMS for a small fee. Traffix will also sell advertising space.
“Advertising is very exciting for the hyper-local social network. Imagine being stuck in traffic on a particular street and receiving a notification that a restaurant on the same street is offering a special deal for the next 2 hours only,” said Okocha.