A black American owned technology startup has just sealed a multimillion-dollar deal to roll out portable computers across Nigeria.
Aevolve Inc., an Atlanta-based company, is launching its operations in Africa’s most populous country before branching out to other markets on the continent.
Their powerful compact computer, known as ABx3 Gateway PRO Micro Computer, enables users to access everything from Microsoft Windows 365 to Google Docs. The lightweight device is so small it can even be carried in a suitcase, backpack, or pocketbook.
“This is a new wave of technology that allows individuals to have unequaled access to technology from the comfort of their home,” said Dr. Les Snead, the CEO of Aevolve. “We want to bridge the global digital divide to facilitate education, enhance employments prospects, and help transform the wider African economy.”
“Our goal is to get computers in every home, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa,” said Snead, who plans to unveil ABx3 in the first quarter of next year in Nigeria. “The device is also an ideal compact computer for any business that depends on direct Internet connection.”
Created with proprietary software, users can connect the ABx3 box with its built-in HDMI output to any monitor, TV set, or projector. In fact, ABx3 also operates as a smart entertainment television device that will almost certainly revolutionize not only the way viewers watch movies and TV shows but television as a whole.
Purchased for a one-time fee, consumers can turn an ordinary television into a multilevel, multifunctional smart system without the extra costs associated with buying a Smart TV. Viewers can watch shows, sports channels, on-demand HD movies, surf the web and check emails, and access domestic and international streams.
“Once consumers purchase the ABx3 they will have unrestricted access to broadcast signals across the country,” said Johnson Olakunle Moses, the CEO of ATD Global Security Services, whose company is the main Nigerian partner collaborating with Aevolve to bring their innovative technology to Africa. “The implication of this development is that the gaps in servicing both rural and urban areas of Nigeria with digital television signals will be immediately bridged.”
“Nigerians will also benefit heavily from the very low cost of accessing digital terrestrial television broadcasting,” he added. “The viewing public will pay a small amount to access our services with the initial cost of purchasing the ABx3.”
Aevolve offers services and products that will roll out soon, but ABx3 is their flagship product in Africa. They market a similar device – ABX3 Media Gateway Pro V.1 – which will be modified with more PC functionalities to create ABx3 Gateway PRO Micro Computer.
The social enterprise technology startup even has a business model that promotes entrepreneurship in Africa. Locals have the opportunity to set up a home-based business by coming on board as an Aevolve-authorized distributor.
Earlier this month representatives from Nigeria and Benin flew into Atlanta for high-level talks at Aevolve’s state-of-the-art offices at the fifth-largest tech hub in the U.S., the Atlanta Tech Village (ATV).
Dotun Solanke, a representative of ATD Global Security Service, was one of the delegates who flew into Atlanta. In a sit-down interview with UrbanGeekz, he explained why Nigeria, Africa’s second-largest economy, is a hotbed of business and technological innovation.
“We’re talking about a country with almost 200 million people,” said Solanke. “Nigeria has the population and the purchasing power that means there’s tremendous opportunity for growth. As a people, Nigerians are also interested in entertainment and the consumption of information.”
Despite ongoing problems associated with the nation’s infrastructure and irregular power supply, Nigeria is a key player in Africa’s highly anticipated technological revolution. The country is also gearing up to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting by the 2017 deadline that will provide vast opportunities for products and services associated with the new digital technology.
Others who attended Aevolve’s meetings included East Point Mayor Jannquell Peters, Mr. Aremu Mathew Aramide a representative of Lully Nigeria Limited of behalf of ATD, and Johnny L. Ford, the Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama, and founder of the World Conference of Mayors. “This is a concrete example of social entrepreneurs coming together to do something beneficial,” said Mayor Ford.
Dr. Snead launched his company two years ago working out of his home. Earlier this year, Snead and his team moved into Atlanta Tech Village, and since then the company has flourished. Snead’s Nigerian-born VP of International Affairs Konrald Ndah facilitated many of the high-profile connections and complex negotiations needed to kick start the deal to launch in Africa.
Significantly, Aevolve has obtained land worth approximately $3.2 million in Benin’s largest city Cotonou to build a manufacturing plant to develop their products. Snead says this was a deliberate step to bypass China and have a black-owned-and-operated startup create jobs in Africa.
Main Image: Dr. Les Snead, CEO of Aevolve; Fassinou Akomavo, President CCIB Regional; Delvin Congleton, VP Information Technology at Aevolve; Boris Houenou, Director international Marketing at Aevolve (left to right)
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