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lookingfor.co.zw : a local startup’s solution for business lead generation

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Buying or selling goods and services involves processes that technology has thankfully managed to simplify. One important aspect is locating a buyer or a seller that can give you what you want at the most suitable price, something that online listings like classifieds.co.zw have been delivering for a while now.

One Zimbabwean developer, Chiko Mukwenha, has created a stripped down B2C solution that connects businesses and individuals with buyers for their products and services. Through the bootstrapped efforts of a small team, Mukwenha has launched a web based solution called lookingfor.co.zw.

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It offers both buyers and sellers a platform to “look for” whatever is relevant based on description and specification. It essentially acts as a business lead generation tool.

By clicking on a Find It or Sell It tab, a user is able to get details of whoever has the specific product or service and in the case of sellers, anyone looking for such. Buyers do not pay for the service but sellers have to pay for the details of a client who is looking for a product that matches what they are offering. This is simplified by a subscription model that gives the seller contact details of potential clients thereby helping businesses to zero in on sales prospects.

LF-Biz

With a focus on being a business lead generation tool, lookingfor.co.zw has managed to create a good impression in its early stages. The service, which is in the beta phase, has been running for more than four months with more than 40 registered businesses that include Zimcarsales, Meikles, Arundel Auto, Guest and Tanner and Eden Properties.

We managed to have a quick chat with Mukwenha at the recently ended Startup Weekend Zimbabwe where he was participating as a developer in one of the 11 teams. Here are some of the questions he managed to address regarding their startup and service.

– What problem are you solving with this service?

We know people have a hard time finding products they want to buy or picking a provider for something they need. They are accustomed to the offline shopping experience where they hop from one shop to the next, which is often a time waste. The process is even more frustrating if you are looking for a particularly specific product. Sometimes you simply don’t know where to start. lookingfor.co.zw helps consumers with easy product and service discovery at the same time providing local businesses with ready buyers.

– What inspired you to solve it?

I have worked as a freelancer and entrepreneur and have been a shopper for most of my life and understand the problem well. Being able to create a business based around my passions, tech and business to simplify life for businesses and consumers just hit the right spot for me.

– What business model have you adopted for this service?

Our business model is subscription based. Businesses join our website to gain access to a constant stream of ready buyers supplied via SMS and email. The beauty of our product at this time, is our understanding of the nature of the market and realizing the lone seller at the corner of Ximex needs access to buyers therefore we offer once-off deals as well, where we send business lead details with no subscription obligations.

– Is there any other local app or service you are viewing as competition?

As far as I can tell, we are inventing a new category in the market. We are the first business lead generation tool and our prime focus is giving businesses ready buyers. Connecting consumers and buyers, whilst empowering anyone to sell is something entirely new so in terms of direct competition, there’s none.

From interaction with our users, businesses compare their investment in us alongside forms of reaching customers like regular advertising (print advertising, TV, outdoor online and so forth) Our unique edge is clear though; benefit from our platform is easily measure via the leads you get and businesses find that invaluable.

The lookingfor team is currently working on growing their community of buyers as well as having businesses and resellers signing on to their service. Mukwenha says that they are keen on harnessing social media effectively to do this together with an offline presence in the coming months as they gain traction in the market.


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17 thoughts on “lookingfor.co.zw : a local startup’s solution for business lead generation

  1. Amazing. This is a fresh-eyes look on the problem. Great to see such local efforts to better our lives on ecosystem I’ll invest in this on any day!

  2. sorry if i sound harsh, but theres no easy way to put this…
    this is one very dumb way of going round b2c,
    hats off for actually “doing something” though kkk

    1. hats off for the comment! I’ve known Chiko for a while & he’s super intelligent. he’s one of the guys active in tech today, heck they even write how they build startups on saharahacker.com (with Sam of Pay4app.com)

      This may not even succeed, but as a blueprint to building a startup, which he stated was his intention here: http://www.saharahacker.com/post/77997863249/how-i-launched-my-startup-on-a-10-budget and now with over 40 businesses I wish this young guy luck!

      Zimbos we are quick to shoot each other down & I hope that doesn’t discourage his efforts. Go Guys!

      1. trust me he needs all the criticism he can get.
        at the end of the day im his customer right? so am i right or am i right?lol
        well this particular customer has the opinion that showing the products/services of the (40?)business listed (though maybe more cumbersome) would be more effective as it doesnt leave the customer confused waitin in vain for a reply that MAY never come (im still waiting for a reply!!)
        aaaand! Mr lookingfor.co.zw wont have an influx of unsolvable queries in his inbox like people looking for things he simply doesnt have.
        for the customer, its like shopping in the dark
        rather show us who/whats in the shop so we know whether to come in or not.
        although i may sound like im pushing for a classifieds like product(im not!) am i making a point ? or am i making a point?lol

        1. Gudoguru, thanks for the comments. disclaimer: I work for lookingfor.co.zw. We appreciate both negative and positive feedback. We are not another classifieds service so we will not be listing corporate offers on the site. However, we have expanded our business network so much that we are confident our network can fulfill any request from any category. A key metric we introduced is full response to all requests within 48 hours. Thanks again!

    1. An Android app is in development and will be launched in July! Not sure when development will start on iOS

  3. Good luck with your project but it will be tough because thez lots of classifieds sites which basically do the same job.You will need a lot of investment in terms of marketing but all the same,good luck

    1. I think what you will realize, for most businesses with startups aside is that for it to gain massive traction it needs either a big marketing budget or viral effect. Even Econet invests massively in advertising so i don’t know if these guys have that big a pocket but marketing it may be crucial.

  4. You’re saying that to a startup with 40 businesses?! They’re definitely onto something

  5. I was wowed by this guy’s presentation at the CSZ tech entrepreneurs meeting last night! He’s definitely a kid to watch! Very well thought out approach, I hope we can have investors who support such efforts, Zim has so much talent

    Gd luck!

  6. hmmm, interesting approach to a common problem. I posted something on their website looking for a toshiba laptop, gt a few calls from some suppliers so there’s def some value there but i’m hoping they add more businesses to make it really stick. I ended up buying from someone but one hopes when they use a service they get the best deal possible…nice work but it’s a loooong road for these guys. I love it though

  7. Its been 10 years since I am in business and according to me for a business to be successful it requires sales, to achieve sales the business needs leads and for leads to be generated they require marketing. I was able to get quality leads from PSD Global. They have well qualified team who help to keep business alive by giving quality leads

  8. I like this website. its got potential to succeed. Its very useful to service providers. Thumps up

  9. The ideas of a number of start up companies are good, but unfortunately most ideas have been done else where and better with a global target. Secondly in this part of the world alot of consumers (local and regional) do not have disposable incomes to buy products or services on the internet or via an app.

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