Ghanaian startup DOBIISON, a provider of virtual tours and immersive digital experiences for the real estate, construction and tourism industries, is planning on scaling across Africa this year.
Founded in 2018, DOBIISON has built the largest collection of Ghanaian virtual reality (VR) content. Currently at the growth stage, it leverages 360º immersive, interactive content with functionality that helps large businesses like Mantrac and Rendeavour’s Appolonia City transform their online presence and drive conversion rates using VR.
Founder Selasie Awity told Disrupt Africa the startup was planning on scale across Africa this year, focusing on the real estate and hospitality industries.
“Our enterprise VR solutions combine multiple media types into one single asset, transforming traditional photos and videos into immersive and interactive content, while additionally capturing interest, intent, and purchases. We help companies transform their online presence and enable a better customer experience while driving conversion rates,” he said.
DOBIISON’s freemium VR tourism platform 360 Ghana is the country’s largest library of tourist attractions, experiences and places to stay, in virtual reality. Yet it is beyond tourism that the startup is making its biggest strides.
“Uptake has been great with over 20 businesses and organisations using our enterprise VR services,” Awity said.
“Overall, we see an increase in demand for our solutions as people and businesses respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that came with it.”
Businesses in the digital age, he said, are mostly born global.
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“A company in Ghana, for example, can generate leads in Australia, Kenya, America, United Arab Emirates or any other part of the world. Most companies disperse information about their products and services across different channels, which can sometimes lead to low engagement or conversion rates and service gaps,” Awity said.
“Our virtual reality solution shows prospective customers the complete and full picture in order to catalyse the consideration and purchasing stages of the customer journey. For example, If someone wants to buy a house in Accra, they can go on to the platform, explore the property in 360 degrees, and also purchase directly without leaving the experience. This enables our clients to reach customers in different parts of the world without having to set up offices or hire sales representatives in these countries.”
Valuable tech indeed. Awity previously worked as a creative designer at a marketing agency, where he gained insights into the industries he now serves with DOBIISON.
“I realised a need for another dimension of content beyond pictures and videos that can transform the sales experience for customers and also shorten the consideration stage of the customer journey, and how virtual reality could be the technology to drive this transformation,” he said.
Having started as a one man band, the DOBIISON team has grown over the years, and the company now has a presence in Rwanda as well as Ghana. The self-funded startup is now looking to raise a seed funding round to help it scale its team, operations, VR content library, services and products across West and East Africa.
“We operate mainly in Ghana, however most of our clients are multinational corporations so we do have overlapping services in other countries. Our country executives are also finalising some conversations which will see us digitising more assets and tourist sites in other African countries this year,” Awity said.
“Our key goals for this year is to grow our digital library of Ghanaian, and African virtual reality content across the tourism, education, and real estate industry and make them accessible to businesses using APIs. Our vision is not just to provide virtual reality solutions across Africa but to distinctly advance the development of virtual reality hardware and software on the continent. To do this we need to scale our operations across Africa and continue to collaborate on cutting edge research and development.”
DOBIISON charges for VR content production and platform development, selling all this as a service that also includes hosting.
“Revenues have doubled in the last year, as COVID-19 has illustrated the practicality of using our virtual reality solutions for our clients,” said Awity.