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Astro claims $5m revenue in first year operation, targets $50 million in 2014

The man behind Astro, the fast growing local mobile brand
The man behind Astro, the fast growing local mobile brand

Last Friday we attended a Global Entrepreneurship Week event hosted by Emerging Ideas at the Celebration Center in Harare. Astro CE, Munyaradzi Gwatidzo was amongst the speakers and made some startling claims about the ambitious brand he founded.

The young CE, claimed that in just its first year in business, Astro has made revenue up to US $5 million dollars and is targeting $50 million dollars in 2014. Techzim hasn’t independently verified these figures yet but it’s definitely, in the words of Mr Gwatidzo himself, “a shocker” for a tech startup in Zimbabwe to push those kind of figures in the first year of operations.

Considering the current business environment in Zimbabwe and if any of the information is true, then Astro’s exponential growth is nothing short of phenomenal. The startup also claims to employ 70 people, and is looking to increase this number to 500 in 2014. This growth in the payroll obviously depends on how their ambitious plans to open up an assembly plant in Zimbabwe pan out.

The company also made claims that their devices are “patented unique designs”. Again we have not independently verified these claims yet but I can be forgiven to question such a claim. Although, in response to a question from the audience, Mr Gwatidzo maintained that their products designs are 100% unique, there is no denying that their devices look similar to some devices from giant brands like Nokia and Samsung and it will be next to impossible for any Astro device to pass through any patent office.

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12 thoughts on “Astro claims $5m revenue in first year operation, targets $50 million in 2014

  1. Let him walk the talk and show us the Patent Certificate as well as the ZIMRA tax receipts for the 5 million revenue!

  2. You do not need to be a genius to see that these guys are lying! What patent are they talking about??? A Zimbabwean patent maybe, which will be useless as it will be invalidated by prior art and or actual patents from other countries. $5million in revenue??? I doubt that figure as well. We we say on average a customer was spending $200 on a device in their shop, which is actually high by Zim standards, it means these guys sold about 25,000 units averaging $200 per device. If we lower the average to $100 spent, they we have 50,000 sales! The high end of their devices can not be bought at those prices. Samsung Galaxy tabs are going at almost similar prices!

    I think this is one of those new ways of cheating investors by magnifying a business opportunity by unreasonable proportions, and hope that the bait will be taken by the uninitiated!!!!

  3. as much as we love to see a Zimbabwean firm getting successful, we do not want exaggerate the success. a growth from US$5million to US$50million will be a world record for years!!. We live to bear witness to this prediction.

  4. What a bad way to market a product. Even G-tide revenue figures don’t come that close yet they have a bigger share of the Zim smartphone market.

  5. he wanted to say $500,000. Is he selling weed on the side and then consolidating the sales proceeds under AstroWeed. Who buys these gadgets by the way and where are they sold? He should just have stuck to the fact that maybe he has made some few sales and shared his challenges. $5m, my foot. Forgive me but its just unbelievable especially on phones when Samsung has all sorts of masquarading smartphones like pocket, young, x, y, and even the now cheaper S2s and S3s.

  6. And were are these registered? USPTO, EPO? Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parly Affairs? What are the patent numbers for us to verify all this information?

    Also, $5million in one year of operation sounds, unbelievable.

  7. Hahahahaha. 5 million? Have personally had a few meetings with MG, he is very liberal with figures and truth.

  8. and who is buying these phones for them to make 5m$ and predict 50mil?? some people live in dream land. There is no way Zimbabwe as a domestic market alone would provide such revenue alone.

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