Who are you? Tell us about yourself?
My name is Edward Mbeche. I grew up in a small village in a rural area of Tanzania. I moved to America about 22 years ago. I am the Founder and CEO of Halen Technology; A user-friendly “Super-App” that uses a franchise-based business model. I am a serial entrepreneur who believes that perseverance can make almost anything a reality.
What is Super-App?
A super-app is a mobile application that provides multiple services into one single platform, “a one stop-shop-app,” or an online platform that embraces many aspects of personal and commercial life.
What does “success” mean to Halen?
Success to Halen is, at the very least, a franchise in every city in the country, making life just a bit easier for everyone in that community.
Does Halen have a product-market fit?
We are combining several markets at once. In the mobile delivery industry, we will be addressing the ride-share, food, grocery, and retail markets. And then there are the vacation rental and flight booking markets. I know it sounds like a lot, and it is, but it is very doable with the system and team we have in place.
How exactly does the company develop talents?
For the most part, we have been discovering talent instead of developing it. And what I’ve learned is that success comes by not just acquiring people with talent but recognizing that talent paired with drive, hunger, and dedication.
When is the company expecting cash flow break-even?
If things go as planned, and of course, an element of luck accompanies that, we expect to break even during our second year of operating at full steam.
How does team collaboration look like in the company?
Quite similar to most other companies, I would imagine. We have our core members who are the heads of their departments. And depending on what elements are most essential at this stage, some talented people are hands-on getting things done. And, of course, it’s all happening virtually because of the pandemic.
Does the company have an exit strategy?
We have two. Looking at what’s been happening around the world with regard to corporate acquisitions and mergers, we expect to make enough noise and shake things up enough so that at least one (probably more) company will look to make us an offer. And if we love the way things are going on our end, then we have the option of riding it out until we go public. Either option will be most satisfying to our investors, I’m sure.
Has anybody left the startup in the past?
Yes, we have had some of the original members depart. It was because of either one of two reasons. First, they could not allocate the time and attention needed for the company’s growth, or their production wasn’t up to our standards. As I mentioned earlier, talent is not enough to succeed in this industry.
Does the company have a self-serve product?
Not in the conventional sense, no. The closest thing we have to self-serve is our flight booking and vacation rental services. An individual will have to fill in the pertinent information themselves because they know where they want to travel to or where they want to stay on their vacation.
How much money can you make?
That, of course, depends on who you’re referring to. As one of our mobile delivery partners, the fluidity of the four different gigs that are constantly available makes continuous income possible throughout the time they are driving. So how much depends on them. As an investor who had the vision and courage to support our company from the early stages, they are looking at returns in the six, seven, and even eight-figures.
What does success look like for the company?
Success for Halen, of course, means financial prosperity. We are a business, and we have investors, and everyone profiting from their hard work and dedication would be a great thing. But total success for Halen will also mean that the communities that surround our franchise partners are uplifted. From the drivers in that community earning a livable wage. From the clients in that community, having their lives made that much easier because Halen is there to support them in their daily needs. From the merchants growing their businesses because of Halen’s participation and support. And from a community benefitting from the different services, charities, and events Halen looks to organize and sponsor. So that would be a complete success for Halen.
What is the most considerable risk to the company?
At this stage, the biggest risk for Halen is trusting that enough of the right people can see the future as we do. While we’re doing seems rather elementary, we’ve encountered many people who don’t seem to get it. Even with the growing amount of information pouring in daily about the success of the Super-Apps in other parts of the world and major corporations like Facebook, Uber, and PayPal all expressing interest and, in some case making moves toward the Super-App, there are still many people who don’t see that we are leading the mobile delivery evolution in this country.
What’s the current runway, and what are future funding plans?
We estimate that our current runway is around the end of the second quarter in 2022. We’ve launched our WeFunder campaign and have already received some generous amounts from investors. But of course, we’ve just started and are looking for significantly larger numbers. Our goal is $1.5 million to start up at full throttle. Once that is achieved, our franchise business model will take over. The franchise owners will have to pay the franchise fees and the profits from the app itself, which will minimize the need for major investors to keep the company running. So we should have some breathing room to strategize when and how much funding we will need moving forward.
Happy New Year!