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April 20, 2017

Developing digital work in Africa | Isahit, Ethical Data Labeling Platform for AI & Data Processing

April 20, 2017

Developing digital work in Africa | Isahit, Ethical Data Labeling Platform for AI & Data Processing

Launched in June 2016 by Isabelle Mashola and Philippe Coup-Jambet, Isahit is a platform that outsources digital projects from French companies to disadvantaged French-speaking workers in Africa.

More details with Isabelle Mashola, co-founder of Isahit.

FrenchWeb: What does your service need?

Isabelle Mashola, co-founder of Isahit: isahit was born out of our desire to create a model for developing skills, connecting people and improving the living conditions of people in emerging countries through digital technology. Our vision of the world is based on several values: a fair and equitable world that offers the same opportunities to everyone and that uses technology and the Internet to redistribute work with a social impact, thus helping to reduce poverty in emerging countries and enabling them to connect to the digital world of tomorrow.

Today we are located in France, Cameroon, Congo, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Senegal.

What is your value proposition?
We are a socially responsible online platform that links socio-economically disadvantaged "workers" in francophone African countries and French companies seeking to outsource some of their digital activities.

The workers or HITers – H.I. T for "Human Intelligent Task" – are commissioned by Isahit on three types of digital micro-tasks, which cannot be automatically processed by a machine: data processing, content management, data analysis. We come in addition to artificial Intelligence and use it elsewhere in the platform to facilitate the work of hiters and help them progress.

Who are the users of your solutions?
We cater to French companies with strong growth and to companies of the CAC40. InnovAdvisor, GreenPoint, Yeelenpix, Small Business Act, the School Project or Alma Learning Group already trust us in the processing of their digital projects.

In addition to performance objectives, these companies are increasingly sensitive to social impact and therefore want to strengthen their societal responsibility by contributing to the development challenges of emerging countries.

Who are your competitors?
We do not have direct competitors. Our proposal is unique in the market because we collect three skills:

  • Self-Service platform (Fiverr, Amazon Mechanical Turk),
  • Digital task Processing (Cloud factory, Crowd factory),
  • Impact Sourcing (Sama Group, DDD).

In addition, we provide HITeurs with work tools (tablets), workspaces with free Internet, and we also serve as support for administrative procedures, such as opening a bank account or a Self-employment statement, for example.

What is your development plan?
We offer three types of tasks: Data processing, content management, data analysis, representing a catalogue of more than 100 types of digital tasks. Our pricing is competitive with classic outsourcing players and is in the order of 5 euros per hour.

The platform records 4.8 million of digital tasks in processing and will be established by the end of 2017 in a dozen countries in Francophone and Anglophone Africa to broaden its spectrum of French and international clients.

We aim to give more than 30 000 workers in the next three to four years in the emerging countries and thus have a social impact on more than 100,000 people in Africa at first, but also later in Asia and Latin America.

What are your stakes?
We are part of the market for the impact sourcing, in other words the socially responsible outsourcing, which amounts to 20 billion million. It is a market that grows much faster than that of conventional outsourcing, it knows an annual growth of 25%. Digital tasks currently represent 20% of this market and will reach 80% market share in 2020.

Moreover, this market is a very strong creator of value. Indeed, for every dollar of remuneration paid to a "HITer" (this is how we call our socio-economically disadvantaged workers), 4 dollars are injected into the economy (this money is actually spent and directly feeds the activity in the country, participates in taxes (VAT, income tax, etc.).

Our business model is that of a marketplace. For every 100 euros charged to a client, 65 euros represent the remuneration of the worker/hiter, 30 euros for our platform and 5 euros for a social impact programme, called Isahit Help, which is used to support our workers/hiters in their digital skills development.

As a first step, to accelerate our development, we need to raise 400 000 euros in equity. Any delay in the contribution of these funds would impact our roadmap in terms of platform and deployment in other countries. We are aiming for the break-even in year 3.

Our challenge will be like any structure that grows to keep our DNA (doing business with social impact), to continue to share our values with our community and to help and support them in their projects while guaranteeing them a complement of Essential income.

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