Entrepreneurs all over the world will agree that finding the right investor is the most difficult thing any startup can go through. This will soon be a thing of the past for South Africa and other countries as 22-year-old South African techpreneur Carl Visagie has come up with an app that can help the two parties meet easily.
The Kneckt Me founder is also basking from the glory of having managed to get an investor who pumped R1 million into his business and he is just rearing to go with his plans for the startup. TechMoran caught up with Carl and had an interview on his decision to quit college to the chagrin of his parents, his startup, and plans for the future.
TechMoran: Please tell us about yourself
Carl Visagie: I’m a 22-year-old entrepreneur with a passion for creative problem-solving. I’m extremely ambitious and always aim to be number 1! I really enjoy sports, reading as well as computer gaming.
You dropped out of college without having clarity of what you are going to do next. What led to that decision?
Well, there was no thought process… I was young and had no direction; I jumped out of college without a backup plan.
Please tell us about Knetkt Me….how did you come up with that name?
Well it was originally ConnectMe, we had to change it because of all the conflicts haha! But ConnectMe came from a lack of creativity on my part to be honest!
Why did you decide to come up with a social networking app?
Well, I saw an issue with my first business – Networking, as a millennial I thought “How can I make this easier” and the idea of a networking application was born!
How does it work and what are some of its most notable features?
We scan the immediate area for other users and display their professional profile. This is probably the most notable feature as it utilizes proximity as opposed to larger distances.
How did you get the capital to start your business at the early stages?
I had a private investor put some money in as well as drew from my other businesses.
Why did you feel the need to connect investors and entrepreneurs?
This is simply the most difficult thing for young entrepreneurs to find, Investors.
How is the reception so far from your country?
In SA we have launched at various Start-up grind events and I must say that they love it so far.
You recently received R1-million in seed funding that must have been quite exciting for you. Were you looking for a partner and how difficult was it to get an investor?
For me it was easy because it was literally just luck. I went about my business as usual and struck up a conversation with the right person.
How did you meet your investor?
I met them while travelling in London.
. How are you going to use the money the seed funding?
— I don’t think I want to publicly answer this question.
What are the platforms for the app?
iOS and Android mobile phones.
Where will your main area of operations be?
Our offices are in Cape Town but we have the capacity to travel.
How do you make money? Is it from your downloads or you charge your users a certain amount to use it? There is also a deal on adverts? Is that long- term?
Advertising and Premium Users (Future) as well as some other sources that will only be disclosed to potential investors! Yes, the advertising deals are long term.
What have been some of the milestones you have achieved so far?
18,000 Downloads with more than 1,000 Monthly active users.
What are some of the challenges you have encountered before you started working on the app and also after you started your company?
Finding decent programmers, Cash-Flow
Are South Africans receptive to technology?
I believe they are, it just needs some encouragement!
Comment on the technological scene in Africa at the moment….
We have too many guys building applications that don’t solve a problem. African’s need to build technology that can benefit Africa as a whole instead of building yet another Facebook.
Any plans of expansion to other countries?
Yes for sure, we want to do a Proof of concept within SA then expand aggressively.
What advice or lessons would you like to share with other entrepreneurs?
Learn as much as you can and take advice whenever someone offers it. We don’t know as much as we think we know.