In our 5 minutes with profiles, MEF members talk about their business, their aspirations for the future and the wider mobile industry. This week, Elo Umeh, CEO & Founder, introduces Africa based digital media company, Terragon Group.
What does Terragon Group do?
Terragon Group is a leading digital media company focused on Africa, with presence in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and India. The Group is made up of three independent but convergent business units that focuses on different aspects of the digital media sphere. The businesses are Terragon Limited (TL), an Access and Aggregation business; Twinpine Limited, a Mobile Advertising business; and Terragon Media Limited (TML), a Digital Agency.
Elo Umeh at MWC in Barcelona, March 2015
Over the years, the company has built strong competence across the new media ecosystem comprising mobile, online and content, using its proprietary platforms to deliver tailored services with compelling value propositions to Africa’s mobile market. The Group has its technology proprietary tools and strong relationships with MNOs across the continent which allow for direct carrier billing, real time bidding, content aggregation, the largest inventory of African publishers across the continent, amongst others, which puts the businesses, both individually and collectively, in a class of its own.
When did you launch and what growth have you seen?
Terragon Group launched in 2009 with its TL business, acquiring and aggregating content across MNOs within Nigeria. In 2010, the TML business started – a leading full service digital media agency offering a fresh and innovative approach to digital solutions on the African landscape. In 2011, Twinpine business was launched – the Mobile advertising business of the Group which monetizes traditional inventory sources and mobile operator inventories at scale with a focus to deliver significant value. In 2012, just a year after its launch, Twinpine was shortlisted as finalist for Meffy’s Innovation Award in Growth Market.
Over the past five years, the company has grown to become a consolidated truly African digital media company. With Technology and mobile being at the core of what the Terragon Group’s business involves, we boast of a skilled technical team versed in 25 programming languages, twelve information servers across four continents, 1 billion SMS transactions processed in 2013 and a total of 900 million page hits on all clients’ sites within a year.
What are your main goals?
For a more inclusive local digital ecosystem, we have developed our three Es strategy – Educate, Empower and Engage. With this, we ensure that we are able to extend to organisations and individuals the benefits of a more digitally inclined society. Our leadership position within the space and as a Thought leader will further be strengthened.
Where do you see Terragon Group in three years’ time?
We expect to have local presence in over 15 countries across the continent as the number one go-to partner for digital media solutions in Africa.
What aspect of mobile is most exciting to you right now?
Africa is the largest mobile market in the world, with mobile being a key driver of internet penetration on the continent. With this in mind, one can see the immense
CEO & Founder
opportunity that the market provides. The speed of internet penetration on the continent is exciting for us as a business, as it has witnessed annual year on year growth. Another exciting thing for us is the fact that several Mobile Phone Manufacturers are making significant investment into the ecosystem by providing cheaper, more efficient, devices.
Apart from your own, which mobile companies are the ones to watch in the year ahead?
We think the entire space is important and every firm needs to be paid attention to. Mobile by its very nature matures and moves quickly. Therefore we have to always be attentive to what both our collaborators, partners and competitors are doing across the board.