Founded in Great Britain in 2015, Netwookie has developed a platform making it possible to use trusted service providers in emerging countries. Their application adds a touch of modernity to the traditional word-of-mouth recommendations by family and friends. It also favors the integration of young people and women, two groups particularly affected by unemployment in Africa. When planning its strategy for expansion into French-speaking Africa, the start-up chose Marseille as the base camp for its business development operations, persuaded by the arguments put forward by Provence Promotion. After a stay lasting several months at the camp, Netwookie France moved to the Old Port in Marseille.
Driven by a wish to forge a bond of trust between service providers and customers in the emerging countries, Netwookie chose Kenya for the launch of its application. A country which the German entrepreneur and Physicist Dr Maximilian Bock, the joint founder of the company along with Fabian Fischer, knows well, after having worked there as a consultant to the United Nations on sustainable housing solutions for informal settlements. Today, with Netwookie, these two thirty-somethings are tackling the scourge of the informal economy, which affects 650 million people in Africa. This easy-to-use platform makes it possible to find reliable professionals in Nairobi: motorbike drivers, gardeners, make-up artists, fashion designers or cooks. Equipped with geolocation, Netwookie can find nearby service providers. These are available on the platform for a fee.
“Aix-Marseille boasts with some of the finest talent from Africa in France”.
Firmly convinced of Brexit’s harmful consequences for international activities, the company chose to expand in France. “By basing our business in France, we are able to benefit from a rich R&D ecosystem dedicated to the digital sector. Half of Africa has close links with France, facilitating our expansion on the African continent. Aix-Marseille boasts with some of the finest African talent in France. It’s down to us to identify those keen to transform the economies of their home countries. The professionalism displayed by Provence Promotion, their unswerving support and the wealth of information supplied convinced us to set up in the region. Their support was decisive in the taking the first step to coming to Marseille and creating our network” explained Maximilian Bock.
Netwookie is a member of AfricaLink
After having been selected to be “incubated” at thecamp’s climbers programme, the start-up deeply integrated in the local eco-system and is today based in Marseille. As an active member of the AfricaLink entrepreneurs’ network launched in 2017 by Marseille-Provence Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Netwookie will shortly be presenting a session on the informal economy during the Emerging Valley Summit to be held in November in Marseille. It will also be participating in the official mission to Hamburg. The company, which employs 4 people working on product development and digital marketing, is anticipating a turnover of €2.4 million in 2020.