Apps Developed in Africa – Found

The delightful thing about this age is that we are learning to share and collaborate by recommending great finds to people close to us. These days, it is common to find people sharing their purchases and shopping finds on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. One of such networks is Found, formally Pashash.

Overview

Found is a shopping application which enables you to share great deals with friends from wherever you are. At the same time, it helps you keep track of what you’re saving. Starting out, it was originally named “Pashash” – a local slang for something that is really cool. You could say that “those are a Pashash pair of jeans on sale at a particular store”.

Developed originally in South Africa, the app has been built with a global target, yet infused with a local flavor. Asked about the reason for the name change from Pashash to Found, the co-founder, Faheem Kajee explained, “The problem with the name Pashash is that it didn’t translate well internationally. It left people wondering what the app was about. With Found and Found Shopping, we honed down on the emotion that someone feels when they have found a great deal at a store.”

Problem It Solves

We tend to trust recommendations from our friends and family more over advertisements. Leveraging on this, Found creates a platform for such recommendations to be made, saving you the hassle of continuous search for quality items in stores. With the use of the app, it becomes easier to discover great buys around you and to share the best deals you’ve found. Every time you share something, it helps you keep a track of what you’re saving.

Unique Feature

Real-time shopping has gone beyond merely purchasing something; it is fast transforming into a social experience. With Found, you can take everybody with you, every time you go shopping in the mall. When you see an item you want to buy, you take a picture of it, tag the store, list the price and then proceed to share it. All that you share is added to your profile, which serves as a veritable sample of the things you love and recommend. You can also find more information about other great buys around the world or refresh the feed to view the best items available in the stores around you.

Value Proposition

Found, is very focused on sharing real-time shopping, and attendant reviews. As such, it organizes posts in the most useful ways, for users who are going shopping. It also adds the cool feature that allows for price listing and comparisons, enhancing the process of finding great and unique deals. Think of it as Pinterest meets Foursquare—but focused solely on shopping.

Available on the Android and iOS platforms, Found helps people share information on exciting finds, with their social network via their mobile phones. Essentially, it allows users to discover and share the coolest stuff, or their best finds from wherever they are.

According to Faheem Kajee, the original idea called “Pashash” was actually hatched a few years ago with a friend of his in their final year at the University of Cape Town. He says, “Like most students we were value conscious, and felt major buyers remorse every time we heard that we could have bought something somewhere else at a cheaper price.”  A few years later, he got the chance to pitch the idea to the Google Umbono angels who eventually funded the project. The Pashash team later won Cape Town’s “The Next Web pitching sessions”, earning a trip to Silicon Valley to further pitch their idea against startups from the rest of the world.

Potential Coverage

With an already wide acclaim in South Africa, Found had its target set on global market right from the very beginning. Now, with it having been funded by Google Umbono, it has the potential go right across the world.

Critique

As much as it has its sights set globally, I feel the scaling should be done on a gradual basis, probably first across Africa, and then extending to the worldwide. But even at that, it doesn’t stop the application from being used anywhere across the world. It would also be nice to allow people add ratings and any extra information at will, to bolster their recommendations.

Conclusion

Applications such as Found emanating from Africa with a very global appeal, point to a great future not just for users in Africa, but for developers who continually withstand the odds and still come up with amazing solutions.

 

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