Victor Jibrin’s Startup, ArtisanOga Helps People Find Good Artisans Closest to Them
Have you ever needed a craftsman so urgently to get a job done, especially when you can’t leave where you were in search of one? Have you ever wondered where all the artisans you see everyday suddenly disappear to when you need them? How annoying could it be when you search for one from Berger to Lekki only to realise later that one bros down the road has similar skillsets?
Many Nigerians have had one or more of these issues.
But there’s a startup trying to address this problem.
ArtisanOga is a platform that is making it easier for people to find artisans easily. It is a marketplace that provides location-based, job-matching solutions for households and offices by connecting them to qualified service experts.
— Artisan Oga (@artisanoga) December 4, 2017
Through the platform, users can connect with service providers such as car washers, electronics repairers, carpenters, mechanics, cleaners, painters, plumbers, among many others.
The most important feature of the platform is that it uses algorithm to sort these service providers by location. So depending on where a user is requesting from, they’ll always get service providers that are closest to them.
To get started with the platform, users have to register and search for the kind of service they need. When they discover a provider, they can see their job profile, past jobs and user reviews.
ArtisanOga is Still New
The startup was launched in 2016 by Victor Jibrin, an Information Technology graduate from Federal University of Technology, Minna.
We've innovated to serve our customers better. Customers can now enjoy our new custom-designed services:
— Artisan Oga (@artisanoga) September 24, 2017
Speaking in 2017, Jibrin explained that the origin of the idea can be traced back to his university days. “I noticed a high demand for tradesmen and artisans, especially within the University community,” he said. “I found some good plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and painters. Then, I began using fliers and stickers, to reach the target customers.”
Because of his reach within the local artisan back then, people often had to contact him before they could connect with the artisan they needed.
However, the offline model was not robust enough. Plus it was no longer a reasonable model after he graduated. After a two year stint at Hotels.ng, he developed the online platform for ArtisanOga.
Growth and Potentials
According to Jibrin, after the startup was launched it gained traction very quickly. How quickly? We can’t be sure. But he did explain that it launched with 200 verified artisans already signed up and user traffic was hitting a “sizeable number.” Although the figure isn’t public, it was good enough to encourage him to quit his job at Hotels.ng. Recent reviews have been positive although they’re quite few and limited.
Tried them once and it was a great experience I'll always recommend them to friends that don't want to be scammed by roadside artisans.
Thumbs up @artisanoga 😁
— Olawale (@Ola_akins1) October 17, 2018
But going forward, growth has not to be easy.
“I ran out of money quicker than I expected,” Jibrin says.
There’s no public record of startup funding or membership at any tech hub so one can’t say if ArtisanOga has ever participated at any pitch contest local or international.
Although sometimes these metrics are not always the right indicators, but in this case it says a lot. For me, the on-demand working space is already clogged with many companies. Some of them are more reputable and funded than others. ArtisanOga does not measure up, at least for now.
But Jibrin explains that the startup is due for a overhaul and the platform looks set to port to a newer impressive model. How that will attract new users is yet to be seen.
I like the twist that @artisanoga has on getting artisans. Once you pay, you have a dashboard with many artisans in your area. If one disappoints, you go for the next one. My DStv guy, plumber, painter, etc all from there. Very useful if you move homes.
— Mark Essien (@markessien) October 17, 2018
Nevertheless, the startup does have one considerable support base in the person of Hotels.ng’s CEO, Mark Essien. Thanks to Jibrin’s Hotels.ng days, Mark Essien has kept a keen eye on ArtisanOga’s growth. But there’s still no known record of funding from Mark either.
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