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.