Tengesa.com, a mobile classifieds platform, launches

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Zimbabwe has no shortage of desktop based classifieds websites. There are tens upon tens of local marketplace websites all wanting to be Zim’s classifieds destination on the web. One such website, classifieds.co.zw, has managed to become the go to site in this space.

The curious thing is that despite all this healthy participation by web entrepreneurs in web classifieds, there’s none in the mobile classifieds space. At least there’s no known destination for mobile classifieds locally. Classifieds.co.zw doesn’t even have a mobile version.

Tengesa.com is aiming for that spot. To become Zimbabwe’s primary mobile classifieds destination.

The Tengesa.com founders, three brothers, say they believe there isn’t an effective marketplace in Zimbabwe and that there are “many products out there that do not fully understand their users or the needs of those users.”

The remarkable thing about Tengesa is that not only did they think mobile first, they thought mobile only. There’s no desktop version of the marketplace. You can use the site on desktop but the screens were primarily designed for mobile devices.

We played with the application a bit here at Techzim. Just using it, you can see the team worked to make it clean and simple to use. Unfortunately there’s no application or facility to support basic mobile phones without internet connectivity and this will definitely exclude some sections of mobile users.

Tengesa.com launched last week. The team posted some adverts in the print press and are also running a competition for the most viewed ad. The winner will get a Nokia C3 mobile phone.

On monetization, the team says they’re not in hurry to make money:

We would like to see the network grow, This will reaffirm our belief that it is a useful tool. This is almost like market research for us, We aim to see if we have the capability to build effective tools for African users in a mobile space. At the moment monetary success is not the highest thing on our priority list, building a product that is effective is. Our product will always remain free for people wanting to post free classified ads to a mobile market.

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  • JamesM

    Hey I was going to do that as a matter of fact I was actually writing the app as we speak. Ah well, back to the drawing board! But then again, well, well, well done to the 3 brothers who beat me to it. It is this kind of entrepreneurial spirit and drive that’s going create jobs for Zimbabweans and prevent Zimbabwe from becoming a country of NGO employees. OK back to brainstorming.

  • WinstonD

    Why stop writing, your end product could be better than this one.

  • JamesM

    Usually a novel idea is best but if I can’t come up with another I will revert back to the idea I am working on. But then again this is the net there’s no limit to what one can come up with.

  • D Esq

    This is  great stuff keep up the good work!

  • tinm@n

    Agree with Winston, you could do it better. Remember Google got in whilst there was Yahoo, Excite, Altavista, Ask….

    Especially if you have already started working on it.

  • tinm@n

    The landscape is changing. This is good!

  • Wonder

    Good idea, I was surprised that many local websites don’t have mobile versions, I haven’t tried techzim though!!!! Do you have?

  • Art (The Idea Factory)

    NICE

  • http://www.techzim.co.zw L.S.M. Kabweza

    ofcourse we do :)

  • JAYONE

    really a good idea  congrats for the entreprenuer ,how can iget intouch with these guys for me to use their platform for other functionality?

  • Daniel Pringle-Wood
  • http://twitter.com/ransomempini Ransome Mpini

    Well done to these guys. Given the stats published elsewhere on techzim, it leaves no doubt that we need more local apps for the mobile platform - http://www.techzim.co.zw/2011/10/zimbabwes-current-mobile-subscriber-stats-september-2011/

  • Alumoyo

    I feel your pain – I had also planned something like this, but DON’T YOU DARE STOP WRITING – Mobile is the future, especially in Zim. In SA they have already seen how useful mobile sites can be. We need more stuff like this, well done to the tengesa.com guys. Its really clean and easy to use. Although I have a tip if they are reading this: place you ad in the classifies of the newspaper – you don’t need that big expensive ad. Just a couple of smaller ones in the classifieds – coz those are basically the same people you are after. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/syed.f.karim Syed Karim

    A novel idea is usually *not* best. A better executed and more refined user-centric product is always best.