With the many benefits that technology presents, almost every sector, industry and body are taking advantage.
Even the churches are not left out. Asoriba app is providing an opportunity for Churches across Africa to do more with technology.
Founded by four Ghanaians, Patrick Ohemeng Tutu, Nana Agyeman Prempeh, Saviour Dzage and Jesse Johnson, Asoriba app is a church management app that makes administration easy for church leaders.
In this interview with the founders, they revealed more about the app and the inspiration behind it.
Tell us about Asoriba and the solutions you’re offering
Asoriba is a unique web and mobile application that enables effective church administration for leaders, and seamless engagement with members via mobile phones (app & sms), whiles making it easy to pay tithes and offerings from your phone via mobile money and cards. We also provide tailor made financial services to the church.
Asoriba is designed to make it easy for the church leader to nourish members by sending daily devotions or prayer points seamlessly via the member’s mobile phone. This is possible via the Devotional and Announcement feature in the Web App. The member will receive notices on his/her Asoriba mobile app or as an SMS. This means every morning before you get out of bed, you can have tailor made, spirit filled devotions from your own Pastor. And in the course of the day, you can listen to a past sermon, which could be audio or video from the Media feature in the mobile App.
For those who do not have smart phones you can get SMS notifications. In case there is an event happening live, it can be stream via the mobile app. This means, you will always stay connected to the Word of God and the church service no matter where you find yourself.
Other features include, a comprehensive and current member database, attendance monitoring tools, financial management feature, event creation and sharing tool, branch integrations and reporting system, group and leadership management functionalities, media/content sharing feature with analytics and online payment integrations such as Visa, MasterCard and mobile money.
What inspired the idea for it?
It was formed in September 2014, whilst we were students at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology. It was made up of 4 christian co-founders who wanted to use technology as a tool to win more souls for Christ by empowering churches. As Christians, we found that the church had a number of challenges it faced that could be solved with technology, and the church market was also a big one worth addressing.
So far, how has the response been from Africans?
A lot of churches have found Asoriba as a great solution to their administration needs. Churches across Africa have engaged us to provide the solution for them. Especially large churches with over 50,000 members.
Which African countries does the app currently run, and how many churches are signed up?
Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. Our data base registers 1,500 signups.
How do you generate revenue on Asoriba
We make money in 3 ways
- Software as a Service pricing
- Service charges for in app contributions/payments
- Resale of SMS
Another method we are considering is a global Christian news feature in the mobile app, that will have some sponsored content.
What challenges did you face starting out, and how did you overcome them?
Apart from the difficulty in finding tech and business talent, we haven’t been faced with much difficulty. Especially with MEST Incubator, Techstars support and the Barclays Rise team’s support and that of the entire tech and christian community in Ghana.
What are the future plans for Asoriba?
We have 3 years left to execute our 5 year strategic plan. To plan is to be the main church application in Africa. At this stage, it is all about scale. We also have independent partner model that provides individuals and companies with the opportunity to be resellers and make commissions.
We’ve began to read bibles from Ipads, pay offerings online, join church services via live feature on social media, and then, there’s Asoriba. Do you see churches going fully digital in the nearest future?
Churches are already digital, from their LED screens for scriptures, to mobile apps for donation, to hundreds of prolific bible apps and Pastors preaching from Ipads! Churches are already digital. In addition to their administrative activities, which is being digitized by Asoriba, churches are fast adapting technology.
What has been your most exciting moment since you started running Asoriba?
Working together as cofounders, our first employee Obed and serving the Kingdom of God. The next best thing to happen to us was being adjudged the best Startup in Africa by Seedstars world. Finally, the excitement from serving the Kingdom of God.
What’s your advice for aspiring African entrepreneurs?
Be prepared for anything! Truth be told, the startup journey is not an easy one but eventually pays off, if done right. Entrepreneurs should be prepared to face rejections, disappointments, lean seasons and most of all, a lot of work. But it is a worthwhile experience, full of learnings and lessons. Have high hopes, don’t kill your dreams, fold up your sleeves, look into the future and build what’s missing.