CTO sought for a citizen-reporting startup in Kenya

HiviSasa, a citizen-reporting startup in Kenya is looking for a great developer who wants to contribute to media
freedom in Africa.

Media is controlled in most of sub-Saharan Africa, and the Internet offers a chance for people with different voices to come together and get heard. However, there is a massive content gap. Hivisasa aims to provide a
place for African audiences to create, discover and share content. The company is driven by a mission to elevate local and national debates by informing readers, providing a rewarding discussion platform, and decentralizing the flow of information.

Please take a look at this career opportunity.

Job Description: Chief Technology Officer

Contact CEO Chloe Spoerry:   +254 716 720 256   chloe@hivisasa.com

Start: Immediately    Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Compensation: Competitive across global markets + equity

Current Stack: Java 8, Redis, HazelCast, SQL, Spring framework, Elasticsearch

Are you the visionary CTO that can take Hivisasa to the next level? Our team needs a mission-driven senior developer with strong managerial experience and good product development experience. Someone with a passion for early stage startup-life, and a healthy appetite for adventure. We are looking for someone who wants a different challenge than the average startup job in a normal developed market. Building a startup in Africa is challenging but immensely exciting. It’s a new market growing very fast with hundreds of millions of users coming online in the coming years. All exploring the internet for the first time on mobile first. It’s a unique opportunity to shape the content space and make a serious dent in how users create and consume content. We are looking for a key team member to join our mission. If you are looking for an adventure and a change to build something different, you are our kind of person.

Our site, Hivisasa is a place for African audiences to create, discover and share content. There’s a massive content gap in Africa and we are in the right place at the right time. We are driven by our mission to elevate local and national debates by informing readers, providing a rewarding discussion platform, and decentralising the flow of information. Think of us as a cross of Medium/Reddit/Odyssey Online for Africa. Media is very controlled in this part of the world and the internet offers a chance for people with different voices to come together and get heard.

We launched in 2014 with a pilot in Kenya and have since grown to 1.2m monthly unique readers in Kenya. We are backed by seed fund 88mph and two venture funds, Omidyar Network, Novastar joined two rounds in 2015 and 2016.

Now we are looking for someone to come in and help us create and lead a world class dev team that can take Hivisasa to the next level and grow across the continent.

What you will do?

– Help set both the technical and product vision of the company. You will be deeply involved in both the user facing product design and the infrastructure decisions. You will be expected to be proactive in shaping the direction of the product based on data.

– Hire, train, and mentor developers. You first task will be to recruit and build the dev team that can help you achieve your goals. You will be expected to show leadership and creative initiative in sourcing, screening, and onboarding talent.

– Manage engineering team in a high-paced environment. You will be the main link between the CEO and senior management and the dev team. You will be expected to demonstrate managerial leadership.

Manage the software development process and release cycles. You will be in charge of structuring the development cycle and instituting engineering best practices. You will be responsible for planning sprints, managing execution, and communicating and mitigating roadblocks.

– Participate in product development and planning. You will be the person who translates the what & why to how. You will be expected to show initiative in the design process and help translate the product visions into a superb user experience. You will bring creative end to end solutions. You will lead the decision process for how to develop the product and bring the ideas to life. Everything from backend infrastructure decisions to UX/UI.

– Design a site architecture that allows for fast iteration and experimentation.

– Manage all third party software relations and accounts.

– Design and maintain data analysis tools that allow management and board to make informed decisions. We are strong believers in data driven decisions and it is important to us to have good visibility into our metrics

– Actively participate in development of both front and backend. You will be expected to be engaged with the actual writing of code for both the front- and the backend.


– 5+ years managing software engineers at an early-stage startup and/or managing feature teams

– Full-stack coding experience and ability to architect web applications from scratch

– Experience managing and leading high performing teams across organizational and time zones

– Experience in fundamental web concepts, including security, infrastructure, and maintenance

– Demonstrated design thinking and product building skills

– Excellent understanding of UX/UI

– A good eye for design and product

– Experience in mobile first products

– Excellent reporting skills

– Demonstrated organisational skills with ability to handle deadlines and communications between dev and non-tech management

A big plus

– Experience in high-traffic real-time data processing

– Experience with Java web development

– Knowledge of Opera Mini

– Experience with Double Click for Publishers or similar ad networks

Company Background

History: Raised first round from Omidyar Network, Novastar in JUN 2015, and second round in SEP 2016. Team of 25. Currently piloting in Kenya in view of a Sub-Saharan expansion.

Market: Continent’s population of 900m with fast-growing mobile penetration and data consumption. Along with the continent’s fast economic growth, the online advertisement market is booming. It’s $100m/year in Kenya alone.
Founders: Chloe is a social entrepreneur with 10 years of business experience in Kenya. Nikolai ran SSA’s first startup accelerator investing in 50 startups.

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