Victor Mnyawami and Moses Kabungo, found that there is a big market for local movies in Tanzania and East Africa in general. And with the increase in Internet usage,they saw a big opportunity to distribute Tango TV content online.
Victor is a graduate from the University of Dar es Salaam Business School who has worked in technology firms for over 5 years. He is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship.
Moses on the other hand is a telecommunication engineer from the University of Dodoma and has over 5 years experience building software and networks.
He can be described as a seasoned software developer who is very passionate about technology. Before establishing Tango TV, the duo did research and develop software and hardware technologies for about two years. Their company has existed for over a year now.
Victor who is a Chief Executive officer says Tango TV is a new way for people to watch films and shows over the Internet as they have a large number of movies that users can watch on demand also having great mobile application that users can download and enjoy hundreds of movies straight on their tablets and mobile phones, since it is available on Google play as well.
“But most importantly, we have built a great hardware device that enables you to watch all these movies on your Television set, unlike regular TV decoders that enable you to watch what is currently being broadcast, users with the TANGO BOX can just choose whatever film or show they want to watch and stream it instantly,” says Victor.
He says Tango Box enables people to watch hundreds of Swahili movies, music videos, Ubongo Kids and you even have unlimited access to the millions of videos on YouTube.
Birth of a new idea
Victor says the idea came up while they were seeking a solution to the problem of piracy. “Filmmakers lose a lot of money due to this, the market is flooded with fake DVDs and fake copies of movies, so we were thinking of a way to distribute content over the Internet and enable individuals and families to enjoy the films they love not only on their laptops and smart-phones, but even on the television sets.”
He said Tango TV services tackles the problem of piracy by first; providing a wide selection of content users on demand, thus they will eventually remove the need to seek out fake DVDs, and second creating a profitable and transparent distribution channel for the content creators, thus a win situation for everyone.
“Since we have been able to build the technology that can deliver a good video streaming experience while curbing on piracy and illegal distribution, film lovers across the country can enjoy unlimited content at lower costs while paying back and contributing to the growth of the film industry,”he pointed out.
Since many Tanzanians love local content, Tango TV has built on technology to ensure all their services are enjoyed by even an average Tanzanian.
The mobile application is already available and anyone with a smart phone can download and start enjoying local movies.
“The Tango Box will enter the mainstream market soon and we are working very hard to make sure the pricing is affordable and the technology is easy to adopt and use,” he explains.
“We are hoping to reach a few hundred thousand users through the mobile app, by offering great content through great viewing experience, there is great interest on the Tango Box, it is new technology and may be difficult to gauge its success but I am confident we can reach a great number of users.”
Talking about how they started investing, he said they bootstrapped through the early stages of the company, but later on they were able to raise grant funding from the Innovation Fund which is run buy the Tanzania Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH) and TanzICT.
“We have received a lot of support from the startup community, especially the ones around the Tech Hubs ni Dar es Salaam, the KINU hub and the BUNI hub, they worked out of the Kinu Innovation space for over a year and the support we got from there is invaluable,” he says.
They were initially worried about internet speed and data access, but are somehow confident that this will dramatically change over the coming few years due to all the investment in broadband and fiber-optic infrastructure. Since it is a new concept in the market, they have faced a lot of challenges with raising funds, or getting partners.
“Starting a company is not easy, especially a technology based company in Tanzania, there is no established startup system and the going can get pretty tough at times, but we keep going because of the reward of bringing some new innovation into the world, plus we know every entrepreneur faces tough times in their careers,” Victor says.
Asking if they have any experience on Tv Victor said no but although there is a word TV on our company name, our service works very differently from regular TV, the Team at Tango has great experience and skills working with the set of technologies that they use and we are gaining massive experience on how content is created and marketed in the country, think of use more as a Tech-Startup than a regular Media Company.