Kuingia - Helping Exporters Instantly Understand a Diversified Africa

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Bartek Ciszewski

May 11, 2017 • 6 min read

Kuingia, a product of an Irish startup, is a tool for sourcing information from media, research institutes, consultancy reports and social media channels.

It collects stories in multiple languages and returns headlines and links in the query language.

About two years ago, Kuingia’s founder, Niall McManus, needed to collect some information about African markets from many sources: local newspapers, radio stations, research institutes, the OECD and the World Bank. He realized that social media were what all those sources had in common.

I thought about a better way to do it. Mainstream media use social media to promote content. For example, The Irish Times tweets every story they publish. What's more, social media posts carry additional information, such as the place of origin of a story. If you are looking for information from a specific location, let's say, Kenya, social media can do it. In traditional search engines, you would need the keyword "Kenya" placed somewhere in the body or title of an article – Niall McManus, Kuingia founder

McManus decided to build a tool that would help leverage the power of social media to collect information and sell it to corporate customers. He was looking for a reliable software development company. A fellow Irish startup founder recommended Netguru.

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The idea behind Kuingia was to provide to users stories on topics and places they are interested in. Unlike in many Twitter-based apps, the focus was not to follow what is trending at the moment – Kuingia was designed to link reliable news and information to a geographic location.

The specific challenges included:

  1. Sourcing information from media in various languages.

  2. Finding a strategic tech partner with developer expertise and a willingness to sustain future development.

  3. Delivering a minimum viable product (MVP) on a tight budget.

Working with many different news languages was the biggest technical challenge. Since Kuingia was designed for serving news on African locations, the search had to be carried out and results displayed in multiple languages. For example, a user looking for information about Algeria needed to access sources in French, English, but also Arabic and Berber.

From the business point of view, the cost was the main challenge for Kuingia’s founder. The application needed to be built in a short time due to a tight budget.

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The company's founder decided to build the application in partnership with Netguru’s remote dev team. Here are the specific solutions Netguru applied to meet the challenges:

  1. Designing a lean MVP within the budget constraints.

  2. Simplifying the interface to cut costs further.

  3. Providing great developer expertise and full accessibility.

During the scoping session, the priority for Netguru managers, designers and developers was to adjust the estimation of the project to the budget. The first estimation exceeded the available budget by sixty percent. The solution was to cut down some of the work that was not absolutely crucial for the MVP. Co-operating closely and understanding Kuingia users' needs made it possible to simplify the mechanics and interface. Regular daily communication helped to further improve efficiency:

The budget, the expertise and the accessibility were just outstanding. When I had a question or concern, there was always the PM, or at times the developer ready to answer me. I never felt I was running blind. Having access to the software and the team at every stage of development gave me much confidence – Niall McManus, Kuingia founder

Key Benefits

Netguru adjusted the project to the available budget and built a quality product, delivering value to Kuingia's first clients. The key benefits included:

  1. Providing access to quality scalable design and dev team, which enabled launching an MVP within the budget that addressed the core requirements.

  2. Increasing interest from several corporate customers.

  3. Laying the groundwork for the next round of financing.

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The first version of the app has already attracted several corporate clients, who found the solution useful. The clients are blue chips in law, finance, international trade, and ICT. The initial feedback has been positive.

What's interesting, all of them said they liked our very simple UX design. The truth is that because we were short of money, we had to cut out most of the cost dedicated to the UX after the scoping session. It proved to be a great decision we came up with together with the Netguru team – Niall McManus, Kuingia founder

Kuingia company is in the process of fundraising, currently meeting its prospective investors. Having a big tech partner – Netguru – is an immense advantage.

The moment I receive the next round of funding, I'm on a flight to Poznań [Netguru’s headquarters] immediately. I know that there's a quality dev team ready to work on my product. Netguru understands startups, they have shown patience and are aware it takes a long time to succeedNiall McManus, Kuingia founder

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Bartek Ciszewski

Business Developer at Netguru. Writes about the practical application of our exceptional software....

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