For Chike Maduegbuna and his team at Afrinolly (a mobile phone app focused on Nigeria’s entertainment industry, Nollywood), the past ten months have been a flurry of successive wins. Afrinolly was first introduced to Nigeria’s tech community via a media parley held in August 2011 in Lagos, where it granted exclusive access to the app to a select group of technology and entertainment bloggers.
Fresh from of its nomination as a finalist in the 2011 Google Android Developer Challenge, it was a great way to bring the app to market. Later that year, it emerged as one of three winners of the Google Android Developer Challenge in Sub Saharan Africa winning the contest cash prize of about $25,000.
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It is one thing to win a challenge/contest but quite another to effectively leverage the exposure and publicity it brings as a foundation for building a successful business.
For instance, they worked with Nokia to develop a version of their app for its S40 series and forged partnership deals that got the Afrinolly app pre-installed in the Nokia Asha 201 and Asha 303. They also partnered with Samsung to get the app preinstalled on the Samsung Galaxy SII, Samsung Galaxy Note and Samsung Galaxy Pocket amongst others.
Its biggest win however came when it successfully partnered with leading African telecommunications provider, MTN. According to the Afrinolly team, they collaborated with MTN to help drive app consciousness among Nigerians and promote Nigeria’s entertainment industry on mobile devices. Through a co-branding deal, the MTN Afrinolly partnership was launched delivering the Afrinolly experience to MTN’s base of subscribers spread across Nigeria.
MTN included Afrinolly as one of its “Value Added Services,” providing an opportunity for hundreds of thousands of its subscribers to download the service. Today, Afrinolly has over 450,000 downloads and counting. It also recently scored a big win when Research in Motion/BlackBerry pushed the Afrinolly app via Virtual Private Loading (VPL) to MTN subscribers in Nigeria. According to the team, to date most of the app’s downloads are from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, India and Brazil.
With all these partnerships in its arsenal, the future looks very bright for Chike Maduegbuna and his team at Afrinolly.
Image credit: Cod Gabriel