Chuva Start Up - Web Summit

Web Summit 2023: Exclusive Interview with Chuva, a Prominent Cape Verde Startup

With a seasoned team led by engineer, CEO and founder Nilton Nascimento, engineer Frederico Soares, business manager Danila Silva, and marketeer Susana Rendall, startup Chuva returned to Web Summit Lisbon 2023, in Portugal, marking their fourth consecutive year at the event.

Engaging with fellow tech enthusiasts at their stand, the Chuva team shared their insights into the distinctive features that set their product and value proposition apart.

The startup Chuva stands as the exclusive Cape Verdean representative at the 2023 Web Summit in Lisbon, acknowledged with Alpha status—an accolade reserved for promising startups in the pre-investment phase. Consequently, attracting investors ranks high among the company’s priorities. With a long history at the Web Summit, Chuva unveils its latest innovative solution this year: LESS.

Index

Business ideas coming from the Cape Verde islands at Web Summit 2023

IT in Cabo Verde
Time is money and the hurdles in the software development business.

According to Danila Silva, the software development company recognised a market need. Among the various IT companies with which they co-operate, a lot of effort is wasted on menial tasks and only about 40% of the time is actually properly utilized.

Writing code should be the focus in a software company, but all the necessary steps to reach the end customer (cloud configuration, security, settings) do not bring value to the company and represent a significant portion of the workload.

Traditional software development involves infrastructure management costs and long development cycles, which are aimed to be mitigated by CHUVA’s new solution: LESS. According to Silva, Less “automates all the work and saves money in the process”.

LESS in the Cape Verdean Market.
Cost-effectiveness is involved in the LESS solution; new technology on the African scene.

As highlighted by Danila Silva, the team responsible for the most labor-intensive development work also tends to incur the highest remuneration costs for the rest of the organization. Streamlining this process by eliminating unnecessary roles leaves only the essential tasks of writing code and deploying it to the clients.

Chuva, an innovative startup in the Cape Verdean landscape, is now offering Less to businesses that are seeking to leverage their framework to streamline software development processes.

Serial entrepreneurs and economic growth in the Cape Verde islands.
Danila Silva at the 2023 Web Summit.

Less and simplified automation strategies to help partners and businesses

In development for over three years, LESS was initially conceived as an internal tool, with Chuva’s business consultant emphasizing that it was never intended to evolve into a product. The startup soon recognized its potential to assist other businesses.

Do More with LESS - terminal 2023
Do More With LESS – a startup connected to a viable future.

We asked Chuva how did its founders and collaborators came to think so thoroughly about the importance of automation, and the response left no room for doubt: “So let’s say we have four different clients: we have to do all this work four different times, and we are spending our resources. Our developers are doing the same thing, and we are spending too much time on it. The automation helps us recycle our work. Hence, more software output in the same amount of time”.

Web Summit 2023 | Alpha Status Among the Tech World

Startups in Cape Verde - Chuva stands apart in various forms at international events
Image Source: @io.chuva FB Page
“We are the only Cape Verde company as an Alpha Startup”
Danila silva

While being a regular attendee precluded the possibility of having a company booth, Chuva made a notable presence at Web Summit 2023 by showcasing a concrete software solution to share with fellow companies, customers and founders.

Their engagement extended to the Startup Showcase, as Silva confidently informed us that their name would be better ‘highlighted.’ From mentoring and advice sessions to roundtables and targeted meetings, the Alpha status elevated the value and richness of this participation.

Tech exploration and expansion for Cape Verdean Startups and Companies

 

 

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Uma publicação partilhada por Chuva (@chuva.io)

As a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde and its people might seem constrained from dreaming big; however, that is not the case. Our conversation unveiled that the hopes for tech expansion are endless.

“What separates Cabo Verde from Silicon Valley? (…) It’s all in our heads, it’s all in our talent.”
Danila Silva
Cape Verde at the 2023 Web Summit in Lisbon.
Danila Silva, business representative, mid-explanation.

Danila shared a concrete dream: ultimately, it’s all about making the right choices, choosing the right path and becoming a leading example for Africa and the whole world.

The Chuva foundation | Non-Profit Presence and the ‘Chicken and the egg problem’

The Chuva Foundation distinguishes the business aspect from the non-profit facet of the Chuva startup, a company dedicated to empowering the city of Mindelo and the island of São Vicente, where it operates. Numerous community events and projects are fostered to further this mission.

As Danila Silva told us: “The foundation focuses only on the community. We always say that we have this chicken and the egg problem in Cabo Verde. We want to build an ecosystem of technology, but we need people to do the work. But we can’t have people to do the work without the ecosystem. So we are building up the people who will do the work. That is why we started the Chuva Academy, a 16-week bootcamp, totally free, to prepare young people for the software development market and to help them with jobs.”

 

We were also introduced to the ambitious “Chuva d’ Ideias” (‘Brainstorm”) Book Club, which meets weekly to read books that provide business education, ideas, and tools for success. The idea is to empower the pupils, namely children from the most impoverished areas of São Vicente.

“Software is just another tool to develop our community”
Danila Silva

As with some of the other startups that visited Web Summit 2023, Chuva aims to better the world, foster sustainability, and, before any of that, improve the local Cabo Verde Islands landscape.

As with some of the other startups that visited Web Summit 2023, Chuva aims to better the world, foster sustainability, and, before any of that, improve the local Cabo Verde Islands landscape.

Ideas for the future: Labs and communal working spaces

Chuva is working towards building additional infrastructure for the future; among those is the idea of creating a multifaceted coworking space. One where nomads and other companies in Cabo Verde can get together. A space where labs for children will teach robotics, software development, and mechanics.

In this present phase, Chuva is seeking the right partners, capital and investment to move forward with such a pioneering activity. The goal is to get it up and running in the upcoming years.

Nilson Nascimento | An enriching exchange of words with Chuva’s founder

Nilson Nascimento at the 2023 web summit
Nilson Nascimento, Founder and CEO at Chuva startup

During our time at Web Summit, we had an enlightening conversation with the mind behind the Chuva startupNilson Nascimento.

CaboWork: What is Chuva all about?

Nilson Nascimento: Chuva is a software development company. Our mission is to create sustainable communities through arts and sciences. We have a for-profit and non-profit organization. The non-profit focuses on education and on preparing Cape Verdeans to enter the job market as software engineers.

We do both hard skills and soft skills. We recently hired a few people out of a bootcamp that are working in the company. Furthermore, we were also able to place them in other companies around Cape Verde. Why do we do this? We don’t really have too much of a tech industry because we don’t have tech talent. We cannot develop tech talent because we don’t have the tech industry. Which led to the creation of LESS, our main focus here at Web Summit this week.

With LESS, the Differentiator of the company shines through

Founder/ Founders at Web Summit - World's Leading startups.
What Less brings to the table with Nilson Nascimento.

Nilson Nascimento: We seek to form strategic partnerships and secure investors for our project. What does LESS do?

LESS automates 60% of the software development work for you. A junior developer can focus on the 40%, which is the objective of the company. Which is the differentiator of the company as well. The 60% that we automate is the part that is completely undifferentiated with companies around the world. It is also the part that requires the most experience, the most years of experience, which naturally leads to higher costs. On average, you’re typically paying double the salary of the person who is doing the 40% of the actual development of the project. Of the intellectual property.

It’s a lot of waste of time: waste of money, waste of resources.

“We are speeding up the time to get to market using this technology. It’s much more accessible for junior engineers, which is our reality in Cape Verde.”

We don’t have developers who are highly experienced at the moment. And so we are basically fast forwarding time. We are taking someone with a year or two of experience, and they can produce as much as somebody with 8 to 10 years of experience. So that is our goal here.

Moving the frontline in Cape Verde and in Africa

Startups in the Alpha category at Web Summit 2023 - Chuva in the search for Capital overseas
Chuva is a leading startup in the Cape Verde Island of São Vicente, seeking investment at Web Summit.

CaboWork: That is a great proposition. What do you hope for the future of Cape Verde when it comes to tech expansion?

Nilton Nascimento: We are moving the front line. Like I said, on both fronts. Both the software development and the education aspect. We believe that to be successful, we need to move as a front. And so we think that using less, especially, will be able to really give Cape Verde as a whole a leg up.

“I mentioned that software developers were fast-forwarding in time. But that goes for Cape Verde as a whole.”

So as Cape Verde is coming up in the tech sector, building the base from, let’s say, essentially zero, we can accelerate that process significantly.

Chuva’s various solutions: From peer-to-peer payments to business management and billing integrations

Nilton Nascimento: We have other products. For example, we have a peer-to-peer payment transfer platform that allows you to send payments instantly using just your phone number. So you can send payments to any Cape Verdean phone number. Whether you’re in Cape Verde or anywhere else in the world. We are able to create an account and able to send money to anyone with a +238 extension. So any Cape Verdean phone number can receive money.

But we also open that up where we have public APIs. Where any company in the world that wants to process payments online digitally, they’re capable of using Bing API to do so.

We have a business management platform that handles receipts, invoices, etc. Online payments that’s easily extensible to allow people to use the public API. To build, for example, e-commerce applications or delivery services and things of that nature. It is integrated with the government systems in Cape Verde. So it goes directly to their financial department there. Essentially like the IRS in Cape Verde. So if you emit your receipt or receive a payment, it integrates automatically with the government. And this is a huge friction point for companies in Cape Verde.

“So we are all about reducing barriers. Making it easier for people to innovate. Making it easier for people to enter the market and develop their solutions and technology and get in front of costumers as fast as possible. As cost effectively as possible”.

We focus on base technologies that companies around us in Cape Verde can stand on top of and build their own solutions with as well.

Base Tech solutions Chuva
Generally speaking, Chuva pushes Cape Verdean economy forward with its base technology solutions.

 

Summary

Chuva’s Impact: Insights regarding the 2023 Web Summit Participation

CaboWork: What do you hope to get out of your presence here, as an alpha company, in Web Summit 2023?

Nilton Nascimento:This is our fourth time attending Web Summit. The networking has been amazing every single year. So we are looking to continue that this year.

“Connect with great people, connect with great minds, explore ideas, look for strategic partnerships”.

And we are looking for investors as well. So our main focus this year is LESS. But kind of going along the same lines, right? Strategic partnerships, we are looking for users, and we are looking for investors.

In 2023, Chuva participated in the Web Summit for the fourth time to date. As an Alpha startup showcasing its forward-thinking product, LESS, the company solidified its position as a technological leader in the development of the Cape Verdean islands.

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