Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – Papua New Guinea, with its booming 8.5 million population, is one of the new hub for technology in the Pacific region, at the crossroads between Asia, Indonesia, the Pacific region and Australia. The middle class is growing fast and internet penetration, similarly as in other emerging markets, is booming, with large access to social medias and extensive use of mobile data, doing a leapfrog to 4G data coverage.
With this, the local startup scene has been booming in the recent years, with the support of regional neighbours like Australia and their High Commission, helping the local ecosystem to thrive. GSMA, the global association for mobile operators worldwide, with more than 800 members, has just announced the third cohort of 11 new startups joining their Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund portfolio, supported by UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Australian Government, the GSMA and its members and offering grants to selected projects. The portfolio now includes startups from 23 different countries over the world, with solutions to 13 of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
For the first time, two startups has been selected in the Pacific region, including the first in Papua New Guinea, PNGhometask.com, by Pacific Ads Group. Created by Australians Fredrik Orrenius and Axel Peyriere and Papua New Guineans Nancy Lai and Andrew Runawery, PNGhometask.com wants to match local home services and improvement professionals with local customers, solving the huge issue of trust and saving customers thousands of dollars with potential unprofessional and scammy workers. PNGhometask.com is also part of Emerging Classifieds Ventures, one of the largest operator of online marketplaces in emerging markets around the world, mostly active in Africa and the Pacific with automotive and real estate marketplaces.
Local customers will be able to post their job requests and get quotes from approved, checked and verified professionals, that will deliver the best service possible to get rewarded the best reviews possible, in the manner of US businesses TaskRabbit.com or Handy.com. PNGhometask.com will also benefit from the customer base from Pacific Ads Group other portals in Papua New Guinea such as MyPNGhome.com and PNGautos.com
Local professionals will also use the platform to easily manage their business, their customers, their projects and improve their efficiency and professionalism, increasing their business revenues and achieving their goals faster. Andrew Runawery, co-founder of the project and local SMEs expert with its PNG SME Magazine, says “It is really exciting to see global organisations such as GSMA and the Australian Government, supporting local innovation, that will bring more transparency between consumers and businesses locally, and have a real social impact on the local society. It is a first in Papua New Guinea, and will definitely resonates and stimulates other initiatives locally, as well as attracting international investments in PNG startups.” The local team will host a series of events in Papua New Guinea, in Port Moresby, the capital city, as well as in the Provinces, to foster the use of the online platform and mobile services by local businesses and consumers.
Pacific Ads Group is the number one operator for online marketplaces in the Pacific region, operating in 11 countries locally, with Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Guam and Kiribati. Pacific Ads Group operates marketplaces for automotive and real estate, and now expanding to home services with PNGhometask.com