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SA business software startup PiCortex expands operations to Tanzania

South African startup PiCortex, which has developed a modular Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution that enables businesses to formalise their operations, has expanded operations to Tanzania.

Founded by Steven Sajja, Mohamed Majapa, George Sechu and Walter Mnyani, who also co-founded consulting firm Bora Growth Partners, PiCortex helps businesses digitise, monitor and scale their operations by providing meaningful insights to operational data in real-time, creating visibility and data-driven reporting. 

Having beta-launched in South Africa in November 2019, Sajja told Disrupt Africa that uptake since then had been “overwhelming”, with PiCortex having around 50 business customers at present. One-quarter of those are in Tanzania, where the startup expanded at the beginning of this year.

“Tanzania is interesting for us. Our consulting business created a good network in the region, which made it easier for us to plug into. The total addressable market is also quite sizeable, and its proximity to the rest of the East African region is very appealing,” Sajja said.

“We see these two countries as strategic cornerstones for expansion due to the role they play in their individual regions. These two countries are a good testing bed for our product make-up, which led to us spinning out PiRetail for physical stores. This works well as we can target informal, semi-formal and more mature businesses.”

Having been mentors for various entrepreneur development programmes with Bora Growth Partners, Sajja said the team had noticed a pattern that hampers multiple businesses from achieving growth. 

“These businesses lacked operational visibility of their KPIs which made reporting difficult and as a result, they couldn’t make effective business decisions. The famous quote “what can’t be measured, can’t be managed” led us to create a mental model and framework for these businesses, and that is now PiCortex,” he said.

Other than SMMEs, PiCortex also allows funding institutions, banks, corporate mentors and ESD Programmes to track real-time operational KPIs for their supported SMMEs. A SaaS product, the startup makes money through annual and custom licenses, and is thus far self-funded.

“That said, we have validated our business model and got customers on to the platform. We will be looking to raise funds in the near future,” Sajja said.

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