It’s not often that we write about Hepta Analytics, the company. And so, for the last blog post of the year, I thought I’d share a little about how we did in our first full calendar year in operation. Here is the biggest news from Hepta in 2019:
We managed to retain most of our existing clients from the last year and continue to deliver quality work for them in line with our three-step service offering of IT infrastructure, data analytics and visualization. Quite a number of “Phase II” and “Phase III” proposals were written, signed and/or executed in 2019 to the point that we sometimes got confused as to what phase we were in. We also entered into a handful of support contracts for work previously delivered and this was guided by our company hourly rate whose range we determined this year. Valuable lessons on “growing with the client” were learned and we are grateful to our clients for their continued support and confidence in our work.
Besides maintaining existing clients, we also onboarded several new ones (both regional and international) and we are delivering impactful work for them. We will begin 2020 ahead of schedule on our deliverables and we look forward to sharing the results of our work (within contractual parameters, of course) as we handover the projects next year. In 2020, we stand ready to welcome onboard even more clients who acknowledge the power of data in transforming their organizations through a revamped infrastructure, insightful analytics and intelligent dashboards.
HeptaPay went live in Rwanda with airtime and utility payments! HeptaPay interfaces card payments with mobile money accounts thereby easing diaspora inflows and enabling new payment possibilities for banked consumers to interact with unbanked merchants. With an investment secured in 2019 from African investors, we have a rapid expansion plan that will see us enable more bills, enter into new countries and support local merchants in the coming year.
Najua was incubated into the CMU Africa Industry Innovation Lab! Najua (which means “I know” in Swahili) is a machine-learning based natural language translator that aims to “know” indigenous African languages thereby including the Africa of yesterday, today and the future into the digital world.
The Hepta family grew for the first time this year with the engagement of several consultants to help build products and deliver on client work. This year we locally contracted a front-end expert, a Hadoop expert and also engaged several translators from ALU Rwanda to support a data analytics project. We currently have an opening for a React Native developer to work on HeptaPay and several more openings to be announced in the coming weeks. Similarly, we have continued to work with fellow startups to get the services that we require to operate such as tax/accounting services, API services and, until recently, office space.
In 2019, Hepta Analytics also became completely debt free! The loan we took in 2018 to start the business was fully paid this year, and in-time. Additionally, all personal expenses that the directors put into the business, and all payments directors forwent for the sake of keeping the business running have now been fully refunded by the company.
Ecosystem & Community
2019 has been a positive year for engagement with regulators in Rwanda. We were able to engage diligently with the National Bank of Rwanda until we got the green-light to take HeptaPay Rwanda live. Similarly, the immigration authorities were efficient with the processing of our visas in-line with EAC principles (i.e. we didn’t pay a dime), the tax authority was always willing to train and assist in the filing of taxes and the Rwanda Development Board eager to learn how they can assist.
This year, we were also pleased to learn that our technical blog posts on the Hepta Analytics Blog are popular, informative and useful. Having reached a landmark 50 posts on the blog this year, we look forward to sharing even more about what we’ve learnt and the best practices from our engagements.
CMU Africa continued to play a supportive role in our growth this year with the highlight being Yvonne from Hepta representing the institution’s alumni as speaker during the new campus inauguration event. Other notable engagements with the ecosystem and community include: Training at E-Kraal, Facilitating a #Mapathon at ALU, Inclusion in the Alliance for AI, Helping implement the #BD4D program, Featuring in a World Economic Forum panel discussion, Training financial players in Rwanda on cybersecurity and so much more. A special mention goes out to our fellow CMU Africa alumni-led startup MVend Rwanda for the honorable mention during the 2019 #MeetThePresident event. You can access these stories and more on our social media handle @heptanalytics on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Hepta in 2019: A year where our Service Business has systematically supported the development of Products, the growth of the Hepta Family and facilitated our participation in the Ecosystem. We therefore thank our all clients, customers, partners and friends for enabling what we term a “good year” and look forward to a great 2020. Happy new year!
Also published on Medium.