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Benin: Local software developer dreaming big

Benin: Local software developer dreaming big


Ulrich Sossou is a young software developer from Benin. He has been creating a range of mobile applications, which have been selling in international markets.

The 29-year-old holds a Masters degree in Industrial Engineering and his entrepreneurial skills are backed by a passion for solving problems.

Over the years he has been building his empire through digital technology, where he’s been creating market applications used by major companies worldwide.

In this district of Fidjrosse in Cotonou, he has set up four startups, each specializing on a different digital field.

One of his major applications Pikiz, has picked up. The app is a tool that allows anyone to easily create and share viral images from anywhere on the web, and it brings him about USD 1,600 every month.

“Some weeks after our launch in February 2015, we have been among the largest software development companies as far as startups are concerned. Our Pikiz app featured for several days in a row on the home page of Better List. You should know that to be featured on Better List, or even have the opportunity to appear on their homepage is a very huge achievement. It provides good recognition for a start-up and through this recognition, we were able to acquire users everywhere especially in the US,” says Basile barrencio, the co-founder of Pikiz.

Besides Pikiz, there’s Chaperone, web app with in-app tutorials and guides on using websites. There’s also “Benin Maison” an app that helps locals find housing.

Esperencia Ahehehinnou is a co-founder of Chaperone and she says: “Chaperone is for any web platform. Chaperone can also be used in enterprises; for those entrepreneurs who want to show their employees how various applications are used for everyday tasks.”

And as for Adjara Idriss, the founder of Benin Maison: “Benin Maison is a prompt service that first reduces business costs. No physical visits, we instead do all the work for the client. We find the best accommodation according to the user’s budget and sent them proposals. If they are interested it is only then when they visit the site. He visits the house accompanied to go sign the lease.”

Each start-up has required great investment to sustain the various projects and to advance research. Ulrich Sossou has made a big bet.

“In each of these startups, we inject funds of approximately 17,000 to 25,000 USD. These funds help the teams to meet their personal needs and also aid in the purchase of tools and equipment…and in fact just everything you need to start the business. From here in Benin, I have created products and solutions which I have sold to businesses. That’s what has allowed me to have more to invest,” Sossou says.

Ulrich Sossou advice to aspiring innovators is “just do it”. According to him, the future lies within the ability to innovate. He is now working to expand his business worldwide.

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