Tech & Innovation March 16, 2022 at 04:00 pm

He started his first internet business from a cyber café in Benin then became ‘African Steve Jobs’

Abu Mubarik March 16, 2022 at 04:00 pm

March 16, 2022 at 04:00 pm | Tech & Innovation

Ulrich Sossou. Photo credit: TechpointAfrica.

Ulrich Sossou is a tech entrepreneur from Benin, West Africa. He is the co-founder of at least three successful tech startups that have created millions of dollars in value for his clients.

Sossou started his tech journey in 2005 from a small internet café in his neighborhood because he didn’t have a laptop. At the time, he had just earned his high school diploma and was going to the café to search for a university in Europe or North America, according to Techpoint Africa.

However, he soon found himself interested in the content he found online and hoped to keep coming back to explore the web but he didn’t have enough money.

In order to sustain his interest in exploring the internet for more opportunities, he began looking for ways to earn money online. He first worked as a copywriter, transcribing content from English to French to earn some money. In fact, it was from the café that he began his first internet business. According to his profile, he helped the owner of the café to repair their computers so that he could use them for free.

He learned computer programming and shifted to software development. Working remotely with companies from around the world, Sossou developed Bootstrap Tour, which he claims is the most popular open-source project from an African developer, and even published a technical book.

“Then one day, I had an idea, built the software, and sold it to the company I was working with. They earned several million dollars in revenue from that software alone within six months. It was great to see something I built could take off so quickly and be useful, but I wasn’t capturing much of the value,” he told Techpoint Africa.

In 2013, he quit consulting for firms across the world and started some SaaS products but it didn’t go well as he envisioned so he started all over again. He found success in 2016 when he sold FlyerCo to an American company after building it up to more than 10,000 users. Co-founded in 2014, FlyerCo grew to six figures revenue in the first year.

“I co-founded TEKXL, a startup studio, in Cotonou and joined EtriLabs (etrilabs.com) to develop the tech ecosystem in Francophone Africa,” said Sossou, who is now in his early 30s.

Basking in the glory of a string of tech successes, he and his team established Happierco in 2017 to help growing companies solve employee engagement and performance issues, and build their ideal company culture, he told Techpoint Africa. The young software developer also co-founded Botamp, which helps SMBs easily build an effective online presence with a website and marketing campaigns.

According to Crunchbase, both the most popular TV channel and the most popular news magazine in Francophone Africa nicknamed Sossou “African Steve Jobs”.

Sossou is a son of a shopkeeper and a Cotonois doctor. He obtained a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the Regional Institute of Industrial Engineering, Biotechnology and Applied Sciences.

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