Edmond Nonie is a Sierra Leonean techpreneur and co-founder of Track Your Build, a firm that helps people and companies track their construction, particularly Africans in the diaspora who remit money for building homes or factories.
The data science company provides drones, satellite, and ground sensor data services for organizations and individuals that want to monitor their construction projects. The company’s cloud platform allows users to remotely track and manage progress.
“For example, a company might want to track multiple construction sites around the country from their head office, or someone from West Africa living in the U.S. may want to monitor a residential build in Nigeria remotely,” Nonie told How We Made It In Africa.
According to him, he started his company because he noticed companies and individuals had challenges verifying the progress of work of a construction project they were undertaking. His firm helps them to know how construction work is progressing, how labor is being utilized, and where the money is being invested in.
Nonie started as a small drone operator in Sierra Leone and has now shepherded his firm to become a formidable management platform used to monitor large-scale projects across West Africa. According to him, he began offering what he knew he could offer at the time, which was drone imagery.
He marketed his firm to Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora who were sending money home for construction projects but did not know the status of the project they were funding back home. The firm then started building its offerings out of the stage, expanding to NGOs, government agencies, and overseas investors looking to track their construction investment.
According to Nonie, the general idea of the company, which is remote monitoring construction building, has remained the same but the application and method have evolved. For instance, the company is enhancing its automation capabilities, predictive elements, and a tool to support the project manager’s role.
The firm also wants to invest in new areas. It is investing in a cloud platform, investing in data acquisition, and meeting growing demands on the continent for remote monitoring of projects through creating training pathways to outsource work to certified people to collect data and upload onto its platform.
Nonie’s source of revenue comes from his biggest clients who are in the real estate and oil and gas sector. “This is followed by government and public projects, including by the likes of the United Nations or the World Bank, and then by private residential builds,” he said.
Track Your Build wants to expand to Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, and the second biggest economy in West Africa, Ghana. Other future expansions include establishing a presence in Senegal and Ivory Coast.
“We are working on securing several large, recurring contracts so that we have a solid and sustainable sales pipeline that will put us in a strong position should we decide to seek funding,” he said.
For potential entrepreneurs looking to explore the tech space, Nonie says patience is key to becoming successful. He also wants potential entrepreneurs to acquire experience elsewhere before starting their own venture.