PressOne Africa, a startup building business phone system for entrepreneurs, has raised $600K in a pre-seed round led by Ventures Platform, along with participation from Voltron Capital and a set of stellar angels.
Founded by Mayowa Okegbenle and Opeyemi Shokunbi, PressOne helps business owners monitor all customer phone conversations made by staff or team members from anywhere at any time from their computer or mobile device. Entrepreneurs are able to track conversations, see notes, and follow-up with customers. This way they can maintain a high quality of service, attract, and retain more customers.
Before founding PressOne Africa, Mayowa Okegbenle Co-founded Klein Devort with Shola Akinlade (Paystack CEO). Precurio, their flagship product, was an internal business collaboration tool used by thousands of businesses globally. It was launched in 2008, and sold in 7 languages. Opeyemi worked in Nestle for over a decade, built and maintained IT infrastructure worth millions of dollars, and was Technology Operations Lead, before leaving to start PressOne with Mayowa.
Cloud-based phone systems are very popular in developed markets, with Aircall raising a $120 million Series D round in June 2021. It is easy to see how this solution makes sense, but the question has always been, could it work in developing markets like Nigeria? Judging by the quality of WhatsApp calls in the country, the answer is probably yes. With bandwidth quality improving significantly over the last few years, this may just be perfect timing for PressOne.
According to Mayowa Okegbenle, “Today, your typical entrepreneur uses their SIM-based number for business, and that’s probably fine if you are alone in the business. However, they also purchase the same SIM-based numbers for their employees to interact with customers. The problem with this is, from that point on, they lose any sort of visibility into that employee’s interaction with customers. Which means losing visibility into a key driver for revenue. With a PressOne phone system, they can purchase business phone numbers for employees, and stay in control of all customer interaction within their business. The best thing here is, before now, this type of solution was accessible only to big companies. Now, we have specifically built this for entrepreneurs, no need to set up anything, and starting at a price point of ₦1,499 per month.”
There has been a lot of innovation around messaging, but the primary channel for building new customer relationships, and closing transactions is still over phone calls. With PressOne, entrepreneurs now have real-time visibility into all those calls, so they can properly track sales and customer support activities. In practical terms, this will be useful to B2C entrepreneurs whose businesses typically receive many customer calls. They will now have better insight into what goes on between the customers and their personnel or staff, empowering them to take corrective action to grow sales and prevent customer churn.
“We are excited to be backing Mayowa and Opeyemi. We believe that the most compelling technology solutions on the continent will empower small and medium businesses with tools and services that enable them to reduce churn, increase their user base. When we first met Mayowa Okegbenle and Ope Shokunbi, PressOne’s co-founders, we were immediately struck by their technical expertise and their singular mission to enable businesses to listen to their customers” Kola Aina. Founding Partner, Ventures Platform.
PressOne launched its beta in June 2022, with hundreds of entrepreneurs participating in the beta program to improve the solution. Visit www.pressone.africa to get started, with subscriptions starting from ₦1,499 per month.