2go – Peter and Wolff Are Good To Go!

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Peter and Wolff Are Good To Go
Photo Credit- Ventures Africa

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again! That’s the song Peter and Wolff, creators of 2go are singing these days.

2go is a mobile social app originally geared for use in low-end phones by young students and the like. Alan Wolff, Ashley Peter and two other Computer Science students in Cape Town, South Africa invented 2go working from their Parent’s houses in 2007. The other two co-founders left the project in 2008, leaving Wolff and Peters to complete it on their own. Without any external funding, the friends trudged on despite rejections from investors’ between 2008 and 2009. They were frugal in getting the project off the ground, did all the programming themselves and hosted their server on a friend’s Internet line. “We didn’t have money at the beginning, so we had to squeeze every last bit of performance out of our hardware.” They are quoted to have said. “Since we couldn’t raise capital we had to learn how to rapidly develop the product, make the company profitable and scale the technical infrastructure ourselves.”

When they decided to expand the project to include users outside of their own University network, little did they know that the site would practically explode over the next five years, reaching over 20 million users across Africa, with registration rates of up to 50,000 new users a day. The site is growing so quickly, in fact, that the pair can afford to reject offers of investment that they were so desperate for back at the project’s initiation.

Although 2go was birthed in South Africa, the site has seen its greatest uptake in the Nigerian market, where it recently knocked Facebook from the top spot in terms of user figures. With 2go hitting the 10 million user mark in Nigeria, Facebook trails behind with 6 million. “The telecommunications market in Nigeria was growing massively and it was obvious to us that if we could provide them with a cheap and effective way to communicate and socialise online, we would succeed. We’re also enriching lives by providing affordable, entertaining communication”

 The mobile social network currently has over 10 million active users who send more than 6 billion messages a month, mostly on lower-end feature phones in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

The secret to 2go’s success, said Wolff and Peter, is careful attention to user needs and a rock-solid technical foundation. They say this is especially important in African contexts where users face high data cost and scarce bandwidth.

The company has less than 10 staff at present, but they seek world class developers with expertise in Java, Blackberry and Android. On their plans for the future, Wolff and Peter admit that the users experience can be improved even further and they are starting to look towards offering extra features for smartphones.  The 2go founders also urged upcoming start-ups to work hard, learn from their mistakes, not give up and remain positive – “let your passion drive you to continue when things get tough!”

They had no capital, and no resources other than their education, but there was a vision which could not be smothered. What is your excuse?

© 2012 – 2017, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya. All rights reserved.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Jennifer in 2015: 1. Her newest collection of short stories, 'The Curious Case of the Small Pikin & Other Stories' is available on okadabooks.com 2. She ported from Blogger to WordPress and shares her uncensored thoughts on jennyuncensored.wordpress.com 3. She is an aspiring Filmmaker & Talk-show Host[ess] 4. She's a mother of two, wife of one and daughter of God. 5. She plans to travel around the world in less than 80 days... Now you Know! Find me on Twitter: @jennynkem

17 COMMENTS

  1. My name is jeje oluwasola,nd i am my user name on 2go is gentugentu,nd i am a nigerian,i tink u guys were succesful,cos of how u made it easy,and d most important thing z dat,of d star progres wich kips 2go users always online,inoda 2 make d final level,dis is great anyway,my questn is,z dia anyoda level apat from d ultimate star level,if nt pls create,anoda,so as 2kip givin 2go users more interest to reach d highest level,by being online,tnx xo much 4 d easy life,i luv u so much…..#winks£

  2. My name is Benjamin.i am happy to join 2go.please can u guys connect me to people in south africa that are on 2go.my username is Abrahamben1.i am also lukin 4 investors in Agriculture,if any contact me on my 2go contact

  3. Am rili impressd wit ur story….tnx alot. U hv jst charged me up to d nxt level of being an inventor…

  4. Nice job,,, But pls i need help. I’m From Nigeria, MY Name is Valentine, My 2go Username is Daval7, i lost the sim card and later forgot the password…. Pls i really need your help…. MY phone number is +2348068273551

  5. 2go is a great flexible social chat atleast africa can boast of her own social chat showing africans have a raw natural talent that need to be taped-into by directing our mind on positive things in technology Alan wolff and Ashley peter both indeed inspire young african’s more invention is still coming in the future from africa soil that will amaze the world.Mine too is coming 2go a south african product but a Nigerian market as a boost.
    The only thing is that it is too addictive to several teenagers and some adult also the negative use of it by crooks caution is needed when using the chat site due to some bad element that might appear good as social communication promote fun of healthy living and an avenue to learn from others in a distance and keep up with helpful information that is beneficial.

  6. Plz, I just have a little advice for you guys and its just that their should be alternative download I mean if someone don’t like the new version and have mistakenly upgrade it so that he/she will delete the new one and download the new one please make amendment on that and you can send me private message on my email on feed back and also I have some other thing to say. Thanks

  7. Please can’t log into my account lost both the number and password will be happy if u can help me out thanks username is mentofalco..send the password into this number

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