Last Friday, we had the July edition of Pitch Friday, our monthly pitch event for early-stage startups.
To set the tone, we had an informal conversation on Threads and its capacity to pose a threat to Twitter. Almost everyone present reported downloading the Threads app, while one person abandoned the process after discovering he needed an Instagram account.
However, only a few people had opened the app since they first downloaded it. That's not entirely surprising. Reports show that daily active users on the newest addition to the Meta family have dropped by 20%.
The reasons given for signing up on Threads largely revolved around curiosity. But the big question remained. Can Threads pose a credible threat to Twitter? Here, the opinions were evenly split.
The majority of the attendees felt it could rival Twitter but not necessarily replace it. One reason given for this was having the Instagram advantage. Within a week of its launch, Threads had garnered 100 million users. Just a few months ago, ChatGPT gained 100 million users within two months of its release.
However, this doesn't tell the complete story. 100 million users is less than 10% of Instagram's 2.3 billion users. A few other people argued that Twitter offered something different from other social media platforms.
The consensus, though, was that it was too early to tell who would win considering both products still have a few kinks to iron out.
With that out of the way, we began with the pitches. Emmanuel Udo went first, pitching Duoiba, an eCommerce startup. By 2025, the International Finance Corporation and Google estimate that the digital economy could add $180 billion a year to Africa's GDP, and Udo aims to capture a portion of that with Duoiba.
By the way, you can catch a replay on our YouTube channel as well as watch other videos on the channel.
Sellers on Duoiba can create online stores, while an escrow function protects buyers from being scammed. Additionally, Duoiba aims to help more Africans start drop shipping. The startup charges sellers a 2% transaction fee. There's also a monthly subscription fee of ₦13,000 ($14). More than 200 sellers have been onboarded on the platform, resulting in over ₦5 million ($5,649) in sales.
Julius Osilamah was next, pitching Internsify. 60% of Africa's unemployed residents are young people. For these young people, getting a job is tough. Internsify wants to bridge the gap by providing training and internship placements.
Launched in June 2022, Internsify has received more than 2,000 applications from 27 countries. It has also signed partnerships with two organisations. Accepted candidates spend the first five months learning before being assisted in getting jobs. Students on the platform also pay ₦50,000 ($56) during this time.
Veridaq was the last startup and was presented by Ayodeji Adewusi. An identity verification startup, Veridaq is starting out by helping employers verify employee credentials.
Employees can create an account on Veridaq and make a request for their work history, which is then processed and returned as a digital badge. The badge is valid for life, but users have to pay a fee to update it.
All three founders got feedback and fielded questions from the audience.
Pitch Friday holds on the second Friday of every month, and you can register to get a reminder for the next one.