The beginning of Wazua
Wazua is a second generation child born on 30th Nov 2009. Join us as we explore the humble beginnings of Wazua’s parent to the present day.
Where did Wazua come from?
Wazua’s parent was stockskenya.com. It was founded by three minds in 2006 with an emphasis of building a strong and focussed community around stocks in Kenya. In 2009 stockskenya.com became Wazua.co.ke
What is the basic background behind StocksKenya?
We came up with the idea behind stockskenya.com in Feb 2006. We got tired of perusing through papers for daily updates on the stock exchange and the task of analyzing trends was not easy since this required manual entry of daily prices into a spreadsheet. We also had in mind a personal finance manager online that we would individually use to track our finances and portfolios.
So we registered stockskenya.com and slowly began development. Between the three of us; one of us doing most of the development work and the rest of us doing research and data collection as well as testing, we had the makings of a prototype by May 2006. We were doing these in our spare time (roughly 5-10 hrs a week in total). A friend of ours who also runs a stocks agency was also encouraging us to develop a portfolio manager that would enable agents of stock brokers on the Nairobi Stock Exchange to service their clients more efficiently through the internet.
What kind of user and traffic information can you share with us?
By Aug 2006 the first version of the site was complete. We began to tell our friends about it, mainly to enable us to weed out bugs and to improve it. It was not until late Sept 2006 that traffic began to increase significantly after the site was featured in a local daily. The discussion forum also became quite active. The growth in terms of contributors gradually increased especially after Sept-Oct 2006. We had not actually done any marketing campaign but still had quite a reasonable amount of traffic for a site in Kenya. We had about 4,000 registered users on the site by the end of 2006, with the number growing. We also received about 60,000 visits on a monthly basis.
Have you realized any profit from this venture, how about the return on investment of time spent?
As a business, the site sustained itself, and provided some return on our investment, though we believed that its greater potential was still unrealized. In terms of input, majority of the resources came from the three of us – the technical and limited financial input that had been done.
What were the major changes that occurred in StocksKenya?
In 2007, we did the first site redesign that introduced the new SK identity. The website was then dark blue in color, and we changed it to the green that many SK members became accustomed to.
In 2008, we concluded a joint venture with a partner in a bid give more life and resources to SK. We focussed the community on the discussions giving more attention to the same and introducing 4 sections: Investments, Biz Ideas, Penny wise, Other Discussions
Why the need to change to Wazua?
In life change is constant. We listened to our members, studied the progress of the site over time, and acknowledged of our vision to be a leading forum in East Africa.
The most difficult part was coming to the realisation we could not remain as SK, much as we wanted to. Wazua was then born as described in our post A rose by any other name...
What’s in the future for you and the others at Wazua?
Most importantly, we believe our members, veterans and elders we stand by us as we strive forward together; and forgive us for our omissions.
We have announced the birth of Wazua to the SK family. In our African tradition, a birth or marriage is a good thing – though it brings change and new challenges, it always brings blessings. Launch of Wazua to the wider public should begin by the end of this year or early 2010 and the future is immeasurable.