“Orange APIs suddenly made our service available everywhere”
Aboubacar Sindy Sonko, founder and CEO of MLouma
What they do
MLouma is a virtual agricultural hub that publishes real-time info on the price, location and availability of farm products. Farmers and buyers can receive updates through the internet, SMS or a call center.
1 year after the Challenge, MLouma had grown their user base from under 1,000 to approximately 75,000. Their next goal is to cover Senegal’s entire agricultural sector and to expand into neighboring countries.
How MLouma used Orange APIs to supercharge user growth
Aboubacar Sindy Sonko founded MLouma in 2012 to support Senegal’s farmers and make the country’s agricultural market more efficient. While it started as a purely web-based platform, MLouma’s growth accelerated once mobile access was added. Aboubacar recounts how partnering with Orange via the Developer Challenge and integrating its APIs gave MLouma both the visibility and the technical means to reach a wide audience.
“We were trying to reach our number one target audience, rural farmers, but they typically live in areas with very limited internet access. So while the platform went online in 2013, we couldn’t, at that time, offer them a system to quickly and easily find buyers – we needed to make it accessible on feature phones.
Participating in the Orange Developer Challenge was an opportunity to gain visibility and to integrate APIs that would enable them to interact with the platform via mobile. With #303# My Store and SMS, all you need is an Orange SIM card!”
“The Challenge itself was an amazing opportunity to develop our service further. The competition was very tough but we had the support of the local Orange team, who were always available to help us deal with technical issues. In late 2015, for the testing phase, Orange also supported us with an ad campaign.
Between this extra visibility and the API integration, our service suddenly became available everywhere. Our user base grew from under 1,000 to 75,000 in about six months, we could hardly believe the numbers!”
“Our service can now truly be accessed from anywhere and we have the user base to prove it. The next step is to increase our conversion rate and grow our revenue. The Pay with Orange Bill API is a big boost as we can charge users while they browse.
Beyond that, we want to expand our coverage across Senegal and beyond. Our two strengths are the scalability of our service and our partnership with Orange and their network of APIs in the Middle East & Africa. Now we need to continue connecting with the right people and companies to help grow our product.”