Inside Flowmono’s effort to accelerate Africa’s remote work model

Flowmono is helping freelancers, small businesses and major corporations transition to remote work by creating e-signing and business process management tools.

Inside Flowmono’s effort to accelerate Africa’s remote work model
Akintayo Okekunle and Babatola Awe, co-founders of Flowmono

Working from home prior to the Coronavirus outbreak in 2020 was a luxury. But due to the pandemic, workflow and team collaborations were disrupted. Babatola Awe, co-founder and CEO of Flowmono, had the luxury of commuting between his house and office because they were not far away. But he knew other entrepreneurs and businesses were not that lucky. Nevertheless, businesses needed to keep running. They had to find a way to get things done.

In the midst of this dilemma, Awe and Akintayo Okekunle—Flowmono's co-founder and chief financial officer—started looking for tools that will facilitate online collaboration and productivity. Digital tools for e-signature, document manager, process builder, and e-invoicing.

The available solutions were software programs created by international companies. However, these solutions had three problems; an expensive budget, complex architecture and disjointed. Expensive because they required top dollars to access. The technology was also cumbersome to configure, and they could not be found in one place.

Babatola started building Flowmono with his team in 2021 and the first version was launched in March 2022 as a solution to this crisis. Now, a year later, Flowmono 2.0 is launching in March 2023. The document management software is helping individuals, freelancers, small and medium enterprises, and major corporations transition to remote work and move to a paperless process.

It’s the “Docusign for Africans.” “We’re trying to bridge that gap by spinning off business workflows in five minutes or less,” Babatola Awe says. “With the app, you can configure your workflow very fast and start running your business all in one place.”

The advancement of digitalisation and the shift to a more knowledge-based economy have made the option of remote work possible for employers and employees. The world has changed. Currently, the ability to work remotely has become a crucial factor in making employment decisions.

However, critical challenge companies face when transitioning to this work model is finding the right tools that would enhance productivity, and collaboration and automate all the processes. Tools that help organisations sign contracts, share save and store documents.

These are the tools Flowmono is trying to build.  Its e-signature service is a data management and processing tool built for Africans by Africans. The app helps your organisation automate data processing, document workflow and effective collaboration with your team and third parties.

The name “Flowmono” is two different words joined together. “Flow” means enabling seamless collaborations between teams and “mono” in one place.

The document management and workflow automation tool helps organisations and small teams connect their documents, data and people. As a user, you get a shared drive to share organisation-wide documents, all safe and secure on the cloud.

You also get access to the process management tool Flowmono is currently building. This feature would help you configure and standardise your business processes. For example, employees can easily configure their leave request, appraisal, and contract signing processes; with the relevant people easily initiating these processes.

According to Faruq Olaseni, Product Manager at Flowmono, the startup is also building API tools to integrate with external apps; these would enable users to bring e-signing capabilities to their own custom apps. "It's great for KYC purposes, signing agreements in-app etc. These tools would only be available to our corporate users."

Data protection is at the epicentre of everything done at Flowmono. On the app, there’s a feature called Flowmono drive, similar to Google drive. On this drive, you can upload and store your critical data, documents and certificates.

You will be able to add security such that even if someone hacks your data, they can’t open it unless they know the OTP which comes to your email.

"As a subscriber, you can only see what belongs to your organisation.  Permission sets, security layer, everything is top-notch, even as the super admin, you can't access customer data," Awe added.

Growth plans

Flowmono 2.0 is about to go live, and it’s driven pretty much in response to customer feedback gotten from the minimum viable product. It’s going to be lighter, faster, more seamless and will come with more functionality.

After curating a lot of feedback from big corporations, Babatola Awe said, we are releasing version 2.0 with API tools which will allow you to drag and drop your form builder, documents and other process management tools.

“We are simplifying the whole idea of being able to create workflows,” Babatola Awe added, “You don't have to be a developer before you can configure workflows and simplify your business process.”

At the moment, Flowmono has onboarded over 10 paying corporates and 300 users so far. You can sign up today on Flowmono as a basic user with ₦3,000 per month. The professional plan is ₦4,000 and the enterprise is ₦6,000. You’ll get a discount when you pay for one year straight.

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