African tech companies are increasingly exporting their innovations outside their home markets. Especially South African firms are successful outside the continent, such as fintech company Entersekt, blockchain startup Custos Media and e-health company hearScreen.
There are challenges too. In some markets, potential buyers generally doubt the trustworthiness of African products. Entersekt has experienced that particularly US companies are suspicious of non-homegrown products. As Jeanne Maartens, senior vice president for marketing at Entersekt, explained to AFKinsider: “Moving into a totally new market where there is no brand awareness at all can be very challenging. We have met with this challenge a number of times now.”
Her advice to other African companies with this experience: make sure you partner with people that can help you adapt to a new market. Also, they should appoint good local media agencies well ahead of the first sales campaigns, and work hard to build brand awareness.
Further reading on AFK Insider