Cloud Management Software Zoostr Targets African Startups November 12, 2014 views: 813 Last year, India-based Zoostr released cloud management software that aims to provide an easy-to-navigate accounting solution for small businesses in their area. Recently, the company has been reported to take their products globally, targeting African startup businesses. In an interview with Human Ipo, Zoostr CEO Gal Ofel said that this is the company’s plan to develop its services. “We recently launched the international version of Zoostr and we are also gathering user registrations from South Africa, Nigeria, and Tanzania. We are excited to have users in these markets and we will enhance the product based on their feedback,” said Ofel. Zoostr: A Background Zoostr was born out of two accounting needs. First, the company made it a cloud-based solution to grant users the flexibility in using mobile devices. Secondly, it caters to all aspects of accounting such as preparing invoices and customer interaction. The brains behind the software pride itself with its ease of use. Instead of tedious trainings, it presents a series of small video tutorials to help users navigate the simple yet intuitive interface. Why bring Zoostr in Africa? Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said in a report that 71% of startups in Africa are shutting down every year. “Out of seven small businesses that started in South Africa, within one year only two of them will continue to be operative,” said Davies in a press briefing. Fortunately, the government has slated plans to curb this scenario. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last year launched the Incubation Support Program, which gives grants to aspiring businessmen to establish themselves and become successful entrepreneurs. While this mandate was able to create 376 new enterprises, the challenge here is to sustain operations with effective tools and resources. How can startups use Zoostr? 1. Financial transaction monitoring 2. To avoid potential risks, startups need to monitor. For payment integrations, bootstrap businesses need third-party software for monitoring purposes. It makes recording all financial transactions easier on a single page with an option to be filtered depending on payment status. 3. Scheduling 4. Adhering to client calls in a hybrid environment is a problem that most startups have committed nowadays. They often struggle with the idea of “How do I deliver my products to consumers at the soonest time possible?” 5. Marketing platform: This is equivalent to the Cost of Acquiring a Customer (CAC). In computing for CAC, companies must combine all the funds spent on marketing programs, and divide it by the number of acquired customers. According to For Entrepreneurs, recovering the money spent on CAC in a span of 12 months is essential to have a capital efficient business. 6. Invoice status: In the event that a transaction is already done, an invoice follows, wherein a company presents its customer’s tax information to show how much is due. A seller must be able to track how much Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) are already paid or considered as debt. 7. Multidevice access for collaboration: A successful collaboration happens when companies are able to communicate with the comforts of their mobile devices. Gaming Realms, founders of Free Bingo Hunter, claims that their efforts to go social has helped them immensely – to the tune of a 300% increase in player numbers. As cloud computing grows, seamless collaborations are being achieved by working with the team virtually and simultaneously across various platforms. CEO Ofel notes that this is an area where Zoostr could be beneficial. In the same interview with Humanipo, he said: “As business owners, we found that the available solutions are complex and time consuming while requiring to use multiple solutions from multiple vendors.” Here’s hoping Zoostr can bring new assistance to a growing number of South African startups, so that Indian products can become a more global force. About the author: Of all the massive breakthroughs in mobile technology, Andrea Caitlin finds cloud computing the most essential. Not only does it help her store her online course readings, it’s also a way to communicate with her instructors and peers.