Tell us a few words about the founders and how the idea came
Zedilson Almeida, Fulbright Alumnus, Master in Public Affairs & Bachelor in Business & Management.
Rafael Afonso, Bachelor in Computer Networks and Security
Gelson Lobato, Bachelor in Civil Engineering
Alan Santos, Bachelor in Computation Systems, Angola Intern Champ (Microsoft 4Afrika)
The idea came about when I have returned from the states and felt the need to be in the know of what was going on in my community and couldn’t do it in a fast, easy and simple way. In order to read news, I had to open several tabs on the internet browser and had to constantly update each one of them. So, I had the idea and shared it with Rafael as he was at the time still finishing his studies in the UK. From there, we released an app called Manifesto (MVP) and validated the concept by participating on the 2017 Seedstars World in Luanda. From there, we invited Alan and Gelob to be part of the project.
Your products and services
We currently have the app (Android and iOS) and are completing the development of the web version, which will also be a total revamp from the app, along with new features and other details.
Your success factors
We are a small but cohesive team that complement each other’s skills, making us stronger as a whole. Each one of us has a lot of experience in a specific area : Gelob has in design and marketing, Rafael has in network infrastructure and security, Alan has in development and I have in management. Nevertheless, we also have knowledge in each other areas and we are able to communicate well among us, therefore allowing for a task/activity to be completed and reaching a higher level of quality.
On top of this, we are all creative individuals that have been travelling the world and learning from different cultures, which is also important because we can use a specific detail as the basis of our idea and then successfully adapting it to the Angolan/African reality. Our cultural/diversity sensitivity is one of our greatest assets too.
Your factors differentiating and disruptive compared to the existing
We are developing a new concept on top of the (now) old news aggregator concept. We are developing a platform like no other, at least in Angola, incorporating innovative features that will make news readers’ lives more simple.
In addition, we will have exclusive content. We are currently trying to make partnerships with mainstream printed magazines in Angola, trying to add a small number of articles from the magazines into our platform. Our main competition does not have exclusive content.
More importantly, we are taking our concept to another level and trying to solve an underlying issue in Angola, which we believe can be replicated in other African countries : giving our population an active voice. We want to evolve our web platform into a social communication tool that will allow information to reach the population and at the same time we will enable the population to be heard as Manifesto will be a portal where journalism professionals and aspirants will be able to write articles and maintain citizens well-informed. With Manifesto, people will be able to understand the complex context of our demanding lives of these times.
Your business model
Our main source of revenue will be through digital marketing. We will sell advertising within the news.
We are also developing a service to sell news digests to companies, where we will be sending the company’s employees with a resume of news in a specific periodicity. Those resumes can be general or can be specific in terms of the theme of news or can just track specific key words in the online media.
Finally, we are developing our platform in a way that we can enter the big data business, which will then be our main source of revenue.
A few words about your competitors
We have identified 4 main competitors, 1 national and 3 international. Looking at the table below, we can easily understand why have a chance at making a mark in our market and in the PALOP countries. The three big international giants do not offer editions aimed at Portuguese speaking African countries, where we will be focused. And that is a big and important factor for their success in these countries.
When looking at Sapo, yes, it is well established in almost all Portuguese speaking country, but it was designed for the Portuguese population and they have then just added content specific to those countries. Manifesto on the other hand is being developed with these countries in mind and also offers exclusive content and will allow users to choose what they want to read about!