Nassreddine Riahi, CEO of the Franco-Tunisian start-up Cynoia : “The investment climate in Algeria has improved”.

Cynoia, a Franco-Tunisian start-up based in Marseille since 2022, has just raised €850,000 from 216 Capital, United Gulf Financial Services and Bpifrance. This "substantial amount meets our current needs to support our growth," says CEO and co-founder Nassreddine Riahi.

Par Nadjoua Khelil, in Algiers

Founded in 2019, Cynoia provides businesses with solutions that centralize essential digital communication and team collaboration features such as chat, file management, email, calendars and other tools in a single interface.

“For mass adoption of our solutions”

The platform was born out of “a crying, identified need for an all-in-one African collaboration solution that enables small African structures – VSEs/SMEs – lacking the means to pay for existing solutions to collaborate easily, effectively and efficiently for greater productivity,” explains Nassreddine Riahi, founder of Cynoia, whose career path is atypical. After studying mechanical engineering at university, the entrepreneur successively launched three networked gaming rooms in Tunisia. With the advent of ADSL, he left Tunisia to pursue a corporate career at Cortix, a French web agency specializing in website design. “I climbed the ladder one step at a time. Then, in 2010, I returned to entrepreneurship in various fields (technical, consulting). After solid experience in product management and business development, I founded Cynoia with Ayoub Rabeh to tackle the challenges of team collaboration around the world,” says the forty-year-old CEO.

Cynoia has made a name for itself with three thousand users in nine countries around the world. These figures reflect its effectiveness. “We’re aiming for mass adoption of our solutions, so we’re innovating to make our platform more accessible,” says Nasreddine Riahi.

And he stresses: “This expansion has been achieved thanks to the hard work of Ayoub Rabeh and our entire team, who give their all to achieve the startup’s goals.”

Cynoia will extend its services to the African continent and invest in research and development. Projects are underway in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. “We are working with Internet service providers and telephone operators to integrate our platform directly into their offerings, taking advantage of their customer databases and providing easy, cost-effective access to our services. A launch in Congo is planned for 2024. “In Africa, we want to democratize access to digital collaboration and communication tools,” says Nassreddine Riahi.

Algeria’s favorable investment climate makes it an attractive option for Cynoia

For Nassreddine Riahi, investing in Algeria, the gateway to North Africa, is a strategic choice. “The country has a fast-growing market, with a dynamic young population and a clear need for innovative digital solutions. We discovered this ecosystem in 2022, when we spent four months in a business incubator, IncubMe. This was an opportunity for us to meet strategic partners and companies with specific needs. Algeria’s investment climate has improved. We’ve also been in contact with the Algerian Startup Fund (ASF), an investment fund, and the Ministry of the Knowledge Economy and Startups, which are doing important work. All this makes the country an attractive option for us”.

“In this sense, without going into details, we are in talks with several telephone operators in Algeria, but also with companies and student clubs. We hope to be able to announce partnerships in the next few months,” says the optimistic CEO.

 AI to improve decision-making skills

In terms of research and development, the startup is working with a French laboratory on a project with major economic implications. “We will be investing in the development of advanced analytical modules and interactive dashboards. We are also in the process of integrating artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to help teams make more informed decisions in real time”. This is an innovative formula that goes beyond standard dashboards. Specifically, AI will be used to analyze data to provide “actionable insights for teams”. The process will enable companies to “optimize time and make more informed decisions, with a direct impact on productivity and, by extension, the economy”.

“Start-up networks between neighboring markets can create synergies”

In addition, Nassreddine Riahi remains a very active member of the Tunisian Startups Association. “We are committed to building bridges between different ecosystems. We are currently looking at projects in Algeria and Africa. He believes that startup networks between neighboring, similar markets “can create synergies and have a leverage effect”. In this sense, by joining forces, Algeria and Tunisia form a larger market with complementary skills. In this respect, all African countries have been inspired by the Tunisian startup law. Designed to facilitate the creation and development of startups in Tunisia, this framework includes twenty measures structured around a label of merit and numerous benefits.

Given Cynoia’s rapid growth, a Series B financing round is planned. “This will allow us to develop new features, enter new markets and expand our teams,” explains Nassreddine Riahi.

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