Telfree: Raphelang Rabana

Telfree: Raphelang Rabana

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Raphelang Rabana and her student peers from UCT started communications company Yeigo in 2006. A deal in 2008 saw the company merge with Swiss-based company Telfree, which today is one of South Africa’s most promising new generation communications companies.

In the early days Rabana and her colleagues achieved what many entrepreneurs dream of but few achieve — she managed to secure angel investment. She identifies one of the main factors which she believes helped the company attract the funding it so desperately needed to get off the ground.

“One of the keys to getting funding in the early days was the fact that we had just got going. We worked out of a dining room on old computers and lived off our parents so that we could build a demo. Demonstrating your commitment sets you apart from someone who just has a good idea, and investors notice this,” she says.

The Yeigo team secured angel investors after launching the first version of their application.
Having something tangible to show for your good idea sends investors a number of important messages: your idea can be made into reality; you have the commitment to see it through and you’re willing to work hard and take personal risks to make it happen. These are key ingredients for a successful and sustainable business and you can be sure that funders are on the look-out for them in prospective investments.

Vital stats
Player: Raphelang Rabana
Company: Telfree (formerly Yeigo)
Launched: 2005
Contact: +27 (0)21 424 2675
telfree.com

Juliet Pitman
Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.