Alegra expands into African SME Market
Alegra, the Latin American leader in the cloud-based invoicing, accounting, and administrative management software for micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), has announced that it is expanding into Africa.
The company says it seeks to help SMEs to manage, control and grow their business by offering Alegra, their all-in-one accounting solution that doesn’t require advanced knowledge in accounting to use.
We’re landing to Africa with a very competitive value proposition of a software that enables organizations to manage their business from a fully integrated Web App and a mobile app, from anywhere, anytime, on the cloud platform, says Jorge Soto, Alegra's CEO and co-founder.
Businesses can use the software to analyze their performance based on real-time information by tracking their invoice history, best-selling products, balance sheet, cash flow, income statement, taxes, portfolio rotation, payments, accounts payable, and other balances.
Alegra operates under a SaaS (software as a service) model, where its users pay a recurring fee in order to use the platform.It has more than 365 thousand registered users across over 25 countries and Soto said that the company is launching localised versions in Africa.
“We have worked on our English language versions which are localized to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya since 2019, and we are truly excited to accomplish it now. Globally, we are living hard times, but the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises form the backbone of the African economy by employing around 60 percent of workers and represents over 90 percent of the business in the continent. They play a major role in the economy, and we are here to strengthen them,” Soto said.
Soto notes that Alegra is user-friendly, enabling better-decision-making and is contextualised to local regulations.
Alegra can be accessed from any device with Internet capability, he says. Managers learn to use Alegra tools intuitively in a matter of minutes as they start to keep their first receipts and invoices, he says.
In terms of enabling better decision making, the application also generates intelligent reports that allow managers to have information about their flagship products, monthly sales, current expenses and debtors, without having to refer to old invoices, books or account statements.
Through Alegra’s Web App, Mobile app and POS, managers are able to create invoices, register expenses, control inventory, send quotations and have access to updated administrative reports. Additionally, Alegra`s API allows integration with the CRM, ERP, electronic commerce and accounting system, automating these processes.
One of the biggest advantages of Alegra though, says Soto, is that Alegra is contextualized to local regulations. One of our main strengths is that we have 13 localized versions that comply with 13 countries’ government regulations, he says. “Our software guarantees that companies are always in compliance with government regulations and updates, and that’s why we work closely with accountants in each country in order to know entrepreneurs’ needs on reports, features, etc,” he says.
Local insight and track record
Soto notes that Alegra's expansion is focusing on the main English-speaking markets on the African continent. Since 2018 Alegra has been part of the high-impact global entrepreneurship network Endeavor, who has a presence in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. They gave Alegra the opportunity to meet experienced people in the local markets and gave them recommendations, support and industry insights in order to localize Alegra to the African needs.
“We’re focusing our attention on the African continent where we know SMEs needs has a lot of similarities to Latin America ones. And after being mentored by our advisors, we decided Nigeria and Kenya were the countries were we could make the most impact.”
Santiago Villegas, who serves as the CTO of the company, highlights the experience Alegra has attending SMEs accounting and administration needs by developing a platform thought on the business managers.
“We have a 7 years path helping the Latin American micro, small and medium-sized enterprises by developing a very easy to use platform. Business managers don’t need advanced knowledge in accounting to use Alegra, we make it intuitive and very easy to use for them so they can easily keep their business organized”, he says.
“Our clients are assisted not just by general service support, but by English speaking accountants and administrators who know not just how Alegra works, but what our client’s needs are in terms of accountant reports, business operation, etc. They are on the same page,” Soto concludes.