1. 10 000 downloads and counting
It’s not even a year old yet, but Snapplify, founded by Wesley Lynch, took first place in the annual Cape Town Entrepreneur Competition (CTEC) held in March. In the nine months since it was launched, it has become Africa’s leading mobile app provider, with more than 10 000 downloads a week.
2. Ease of use
Over and above local accolades, Snapplify has also won global approval for ease of use, customisability, feature richness, stability and low network traffic throughput, making it a solution that has value well beyond South Africa.
3. Minding the gap
Lynch developed the business to address a big lack in the digital publishing industry. “The current technology is too expensive for emerging markets,” he says. “And Kindle is great, but it’s far more likely that mobile devices will be the way to reach people in developing countries.”
4. A winning start
Lynch’s stroke of genius was to launch Snapplify at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2011, which was followed by the opening of UK and South African offices. It was a smart move for a business that is self-funded and needed to attract attention quickly.
“We hustled,” he says.
“Frankfurt is a massive event and people come with their business hats on so we had a captive audience. We set up meetings and demos and let the product speak for itself. One Australian publisher was so impressed that he gave us his content there and then.”