05:40 - Source: CNN
Ghanaian start up heads to Silicon Valley

Story highlights

Dropifi is the first African company to join the Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups program

It is an online tool helping companies monitor customer feedback

Launched in 2011, Dropifi has over 6,000 clients in more than 30 countries

CNN —  

It may be a long way from home but it took just two years for a trio of young techies to take their web-based startup from a classroom in Ghana to the world’s technology capital, California’s Silicon Valley.

In November 2011, Ghanaian entrepreneurs David Osei, Kamil Nabong and Philips Effah founded Dropifi, an online tool that helps businesses sort customer feedback online. About 20 months later, it has become the first African company to join the 500 Startups program, a Silicon Valley-based seed accelerator and investment fund.

“I never thought of moving to the Valley as soon as this, because basically we want to build a global startup company right from Ghana that is going to service the whole world,” says Osei, Dropifi’s chief executive. “But coming to the Valley is definitely a step ahead of what we had imagined.”

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The team’s journey to the world’s biggest startup ecosystem started at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology in Accra, Ghana’s capital.

“David approached me and said, ‘this is the idea,’” remembers Effah, Dropifi’s chief technical officer. “He realized that businesses lose a lot of information online because of this long and scary contact form (on their websites). I realized that there is a huge potential for it.”

That idea became Dropifi, a widget that seeks to replace what it describes as “the era of long and scary website ‘contact us’ forms” and “still deliver business-critical insights and a spam-free customer engagement.”

The tool helps business monitor customer feedback. It analyzes demographics, industry trends and the emotions behind the messages, to help companies respond effectively to customers. It also taps into social media platforms so companies can have a broader customer reach.

“We have the person’s social media profiles online up here,” says Nabon