Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Goodness Kayode and I’m the co-founder and CEO of Sendchamp. I studied English Language at the university where I started my software engineering journey. I also built an agency called Sprinble Agency.
Today, what I am building is the future of omnichannel communication for businesses in Africa.
So what exactly is Sendchamp?
It’s pretty straightforward. I am a business person and I have customers that try to reach out to me maybe through Instagram, Facebook, SMS, or Twitter I have to switch between different platforms to be able to respond to customers apart from the hundred things that I have to do in a day; managing of employee, handling finances and things like that. So it becomes like a pain in the ass to manage these conversations from customers so basically Sendchamp has built a single platform that allows businesses to be able to manage these communication channels in one place and also manage business tools that they use for managing their businesses.
Fantastic, there are few messaging platforms as well, so what is unique about Sendchamp and how is it different from every other multichannel platform?
In the market today, a lot of players in our space are focused on enterprise businesses. You have to be an established business before you can make use of their solution. What we were able to do is build a product that allows SMEs too to be able to make use of the platform with little or no development knowledge.
Perfect, so in other words, you’ve democratized that system of “I don’t need much money before I can be able to build my platform and I can build my audience even as small as my business is right?”
Correct, we are democratizing it.
This is insane, great work!. So what exactly motivated you to start Sendchamp?
Sendchamp Started as a result of difficult situations that I’ve been in as a developer and also as a business owner. At my agency, we built solutions for venture-backed start-ups, enterprises and industries and we realized that the products we built required one or two messaging channels. Every single time we get to that point we have to review like four providers, we have to review them based on regulations, delivery, pricing and payment options. In Africa, we have so many SMS providers and this business wants to make use of Whatsapp, emails, USSD. We encountered this situation several times and it got us thinking that how can we solve it and how can we make it easy for businesses to be able to say that they need a particular platform that can give them all these channels that their customers want to reach them through. That’s where the idea of Sendchamp came from.
This is a game changer; if I can send bulk SMS, Emails and WhatsApp messages. What you’re doing is massive to be honest. I am wondering, how are you able to fund the startup?
We are a ventured backed startup. We raised about $100k in 2021, we also walked into some accelerators to get some money there.
That’s great. Since launched, what’s the success story like? In terms of revenue generation and user base.
Right now for Sendchamp, we’ve been able to get over 2,000 business signups spread across SMBs and startups. We’ve been able to process over 20m+ messages and we are still expanding and still building. We’ve also been able to serve different customers across different countries in the world.
Perfect, would you want to give an insight of where you want to see your start up in the next five years?
Honestly, I want a billion-dollar company. Our goal is to help businesses to be able to tap into Africa’s digital economy. Our goal is to ensure that traditional digital businesses are able to extract or reap the fruit of the digital economy today. So we are providing them with tools to handle their communication and make their business operations smoother.
That’s good and I wish you success in your start up. Would you say that this is your first attempt at starting a business? Basically, just share with us your failure story.
As an engineer, you start different projects. Some that die on your laptop, some that don’t die, and some that go live but you don’t have customer;, some that go live but you have one to five customers. I think the difference between other startups that I’ve done and Sendchamp is that I’m sharing the story of Sendchamp everywhere I go. I realized that it is not my families that will make use of my products nor will they make it a billion-dollar company. It is customers and we are solving a problem for businesses and it is very important that people know the problem that we are solving. Yes, I’ve had failed businesses. I’ve done car wash business before; I was one of the founding members of one Adtech placement company too. I’ve seen a couple of things. I have also played in the FinTech space.
This is great. Would you want to share some insights to what keeps you pumped up and what keeps you motivated? Resources that you learn from or some podcasts that you listen to that keeps you going.
I will say I’m lucky to have some friends that are doing well in their space and I have friends that don’t want to be poor, that is the most important motivation. I talk about my stuff when I’m with them and I get insights. I learn a lot from them too. I try to understand my space well. I equip myself with contents that revolve around my space and I also try to learn from people that have done it before. I hardly read books but I listen to podcasts. Most times I actually work with articles.
Excellent. How do you get users for your startup?
I’ll start with the general principles. I’ll always mention that execution is key when it comes to marketing. People know the basic strategy but how do you tailor it down to your own business. You want to understand the customers you’re looking for, you want to understand the channels; you want to understand your model well so that you’ll know that they are all in sync.
You want to look for channels that are very effective, you want to understand if your business is a B2B or a B2C product and understanding those that can get you to your customers or people that will make sure that the deal gets closed. There are very obvious and article friendly strategies like social media, running ads, sponsor programs and things like that, depending on your business.
There are strategies that you can use. We are a B2B business, we reach out to businesses, and we have other channels like our developer community which is over 1,500. We try to grow our community and get involved. Recently, we’ve partnered with like developers communities just to make sure that developers see us more and how we are useful for their startups and products. Marketing is more of experimentation till you get the one that works for you.
Awesome. Would you give advice to other entrepreneurs like you or younger one that are trying to weather the storm as well? What advice do you have for them?
To be honest, have money. You need to have money. A start up does not die because they’re not building the future, startup dies because of money. It will be a learning experience if you start without money.
There are actually some accelerators you can join. It’s always great when it comes from the point of “You’re building this and you also have the resources to be able to push it” because the journey is stressful. People find it easy to criticize founders but they don’t know that there are lots of decisions that we have to make and trying to decide on what works best for the business, for partners and team members.
We are trying to manage everything and make sure that you’re not being selfish at the same time. It’s a rollercoaster. The stories are always very sweet if you’re in for the right things. You just have to make it work.