Today’s featured member of the VC4Africa platform is entrepreneur Natalino Mwenda of Rasello. Rasello is a Relationship Management System (RMS) based in Tanzania, that is being utilized by hundreds of businesses, managing close to 500,000 people across Africa. Rasello secured a lead investor and is fundraising on VC4Africa – see Rasello’s venture profile. Only registered investors can review documents, see details for this deal, and express their interest to participate.
The last time we interviewed you was in March 2012. What has happened in the mean time and what have you achieved with Rasello to date?
“Rasello as a product has advanced tremendously. In March 2012 we were focused mainly on SMS communication and people being able to follow businesses they loved. Due to positive user feedback enabling the team to conduct practical research and development, we have progressed to being a cloud based software, simplifying how businesses manage, understand and communicate to their clients – or in some cases, to their employees.
Simply put, businesses use Rasello mainly to manage client information, gain Business Intelligence (analytics) from the information they input about their clients and communicate to clients more strategically via SMS. Close to 500,000 people are now managed on the Rasello cloud which is a combination of clients, employees and other people. Rasello is also available across all mobile devices (tablets, smartphones and other browser enabled phones), making it more accessible for people to utilize the product.
Rasello allows anyone to manage up to 100 people for free, beyond that they can pay as little as $25 per month for advanced features and more space. We are currently riding the wave of innovation, enabling us to develop new features and refine the existing ones to bring more value to our users which is our primary focus today and will be the same 10 years from now.”
What drives you as a person to do what you do?
“Impact drives me, to impact the world in a positive way so that one day Rasello can change the lives of millions. There is no better driving force that to improve the lives of others, have a lot of fun doing it and generate profits to re-invest back into greater impact.”
How have you financed the business to date?
“In 2011 we financed the business out of pocket, 2012 we got an early pre-seed investment from Seedstartup (part of Techstars Network) and in 2013 we managed to secure additional funding from Angels in which we are re-investing into marketing, product and business development to bring higher quality to our users.”
What was the single greatest challenge/obstacle you faced to date? How did you overcome this?
“Obstacles are there everyday, but they only make us more knowledgeable on our market and learn key trade secrets (our magic wand). One major challenge was learning how to profile our users and how to best reach and attract them, we have done plenty of experiments (and still do) but we seem to be much better at getting their attention today.”
How do you see the VC4Africa community, how do you use it?
“VC4Africa is awesome, I have worked with many members from the community and I absolutely adore their drive to help entrepreneurs – it’s not a daily occurrence that you meet people who believe in entrepreneurs, in some cases more than we believe in ourselves.”
What is your fundraising goal? What kind of investor(s) are you looking for and for which amount?
“Our next milestone is scaling, improving quality and simplifying the lives of our current users and enabling more people across Africa to do the same using Rasello. Our scale focus in marketing and increasing our knowledge from our important markets and growing more effectively within them.
Our ideal investor should be a strategic partner who can give us the resources to scale and also open up opportunities in the respective markets. I prefer to discuss the figures and reasons for fundraising in one-on-one conversations with interested investors for the current and/or future rounds.”
For more information, see the venture profile of Rasello on VC4Africa. Only registered investors can review the documents, see details for this deal, and express their interest to participate.