Deepleague, one of Zimbabwe’s most popular online classifieds platforms, scooped the best online classified website award at the recently held Young Achievers Technology Awards YATA 2015.
It was quite a close call as the other nominees in the category ZimMarket and Zimleague are really making a name for themselves through online classifieds. Deepleague is an online advertising house which seeks to help the ordinary Zimbabwean make and grow businesses by advertising their products and services, reaching a wide market.
By Marvelous Chibagidi
The mastermind behind the online classifieds is Harare based 34yr old Sean Moyo, and the man really means business and is out to get the paper.
Deepleague classifieds, according to Sean runs on several online platforms, including their website www.deepleague.co.zw , social media sites such as Facebook, where they have over 188 000 likes on their page, while their Deepleague Adverts Group has over 33 000 members as well as a third one which has over 13 000 bringing their total numbers to over 230 000 people. This makes the startup a formidable advertising portal in the online sphere as it is essentially a numbers game.
The classifieds startup is also huge on instant messaging platform whatsApp, with over 49 000 people in it’s database. On this platform Deepleague uses broadcast lists to propagate daily bulletins on a variety of content including daily Property lists, job alerts and general adverts.
Speaking to this writer the Deepleague founder & CEO said, “We are eternally grateful to the organisers of the YATA Awards for the recognition. Being nominated alone is a great achievement, let alone going on to win. This certainly gives us more impetus to press ahead with our work and exploit opportunities that technology has brought to our generation.”
He continued, “this of course would never have been possible without the massive following that we enjoy, as anyone can tell by our Facebook following which is nearly a quarter of a million people, and these are the people that have made us to be recognizable as an entity. They are our stars.”
He also said, “We recognized quite early on that the whatsApp platform was becoming very popular and Zimbabwean internet users spent most of their online time on the platform and so we decided to leverage our Facebook numbers to build a WhatsApp database, which we quickly monetized. we arguably were the first people in the country to make money off WhatsApp while others were sharing jokes.”
“We did a trial run of essential services like job updates as well as Property list bulletins for home seekers who didn’t have a lot of time to go house hunting. The service got popular quite quickly as people saw a lot of value in receiving daily updates of properties to let in and around Harare as well as job vacancies on their mobile devices.
“Now the WhatsApp service is very established and very popular. It gives us a stead source of revenue too, as subscribers make payments through mobile payment platforms primarily Ecocash, which gives them convenience. They no longer have to be stressed about going out to look for these as they are sent daily on their phones.”
He says he then realised the potential that the numbers that kept liking the page presented, and that is when he got together with a friend he co-opted and they created a website. And as they say, the rest is history as he and his team have a dream of making Deepleague, Zimbabwe’s own Alibaba.
Said Sean, “Going forward, nothing can stop us now as we are now a strong brand in the advertising industry. We now seek to use the visibility and name we have created to build a strong business that will dominate the E-Commerce market not just in Zimbabwe, but the African region as a whole.”
“We do face strong competition from the likes of Webdev, who have an established classifieds site that had a virtual monopoly for a long time, as well as Econet’s ownai, alpha Media’s Myclassifieds and several other startups but our strategy is going to take us ahead of the pack. We also have several projects, Apps and services that we are going to be launching in the year 2017. Watch this space.”