These days, drones have been used for everything from blood delivery to dropping off a box of the pajamas you bought online. It’s no wonder that they’ve become popular across the entire world.
Like the medical delivery startup, I wrote about previously, the drone-focused startup I’m writing about today also comes out of Africa. The startup was founded by the 25-year-old William Elong, an internationally talented young man. Elong, hailing from Cameroon doesn’t seem like the typical startup CEO, at least not at first but he started this startup based on services completely provided by drones.
His company Will & Brothers provides drones for various purposes. One of their larger projects called Drone Africa aims to provide drones to various companies and organizations for civil purposes both in and out of the country.
The uses for these drones depend on the company but some examples include using the drones for cartography, media coverage, agricultural support and detecting hazards in mines like poisonous gas. Their drones can go for up to 20 kilometers (approximately 12 miles) which allows them to be used for a multitude of purposes especially in more remote areas that are not as easy to reach.
Currently, two airborne prototypes have been developed by Will & Brothers. The first model has a further range than their previous model and could be better suited as an economical solution to the often expensive task of map making.
The second drone prototype, called Logarythm can reach altitudes of up to 500 meters (or 1,640 feet) and is also fitted with high-definition cameras which can be used in high-risk areas or for precision work where "eyes" are needed on the ground.
The objective of the startup was to create a team able to improve the life of people in Africa with a new approach to business where intelligence and technology are a key aspect of the top management decision process. We use open source intelligence (OSINT) techniques to provide a critical analysis of reality.
They are hoping that, because the manufacturing cost for their drones is lower than similar drones on the market, their drones will be better suited for emerging economies and tech-heavy economies alike. So far they have expanded the startup to other focus areas, beyond just the use of their done technology. Some of their other services include digital marketing, human resources, virtual reality and augmented reality.
The most impressive member of their international team, which is comprised of young people of 3 different nationalities speaking 8 languages overall, is perhaps the founder William Elong who was mentioned earlier.
Elong, despite being the creator of a tech startup, has no IT or robotics background, rather he studied strategy and competitive intelligence in France. He became the youngest graduate from Paris’ Economic Warfare School which has the best competitive intelligence MBA in France and the 5th best in the world.
After working for various organizations including Oracle, UNICEF, and Thales, he founded the startup in 2014. Elong has received several awards and award nominations, including Forbes 30 Under 30 Most Promising in Africa, National Youth Excellence Award for IT Innovation and the I-Session Awards (where he finished as a finalist). In his opinion, there is a lot of untapped talent and intelligence in Africa which is overlooked, even by African companies, who often look for talent outside of the continent.
The African market is no stranger to drones, of course, as we discussed earlier in the article, this method of transport has been used by a medical tech startup and it’s not uncommon to see drones flying about various African countries for purposes like delivering items, shipping medicine, and sowing seeds.
Africa is currently the most attractive place in the world for investment. While most developed countries are facing economic issues, emerging countries in Africa can show a growth trend of 6 %. We do believe that by investing in Africa now, you are going to the right place at the right time.
Their newest project is called TEKI VR. Will & Brothers plan to launch a new startup focused specifically on virtual reality. It will be interesting to see how this startup is able to offer products and services throughout Africa and the rest of the world.
Once again an African startup shows us that the solution for the future of Africa can and should come from Africa’s future. Young innovative Africans all over the continent are showing how their skills, ideas, and talents can forge a future for the overlooked continent.