ukowapi – the Digital Address Revolution

The company ukowapi UG is determined to tackle a major problem: the lack of a functional physical address system in the developing world. ukowapi hopes to achieve this, by providing reliable and verifiable digital addresses as an alternative to underdeveloped physical address systems. Let’s have a closer look at the startup’s success story, starting out with the victorious participation in the leading innovation platform for satellite navigation applications.

During the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) 2014, ukowapi was honoured with the Regional Prize of Hesse, Germany, and the second place of the overall ranking. This award resulted in increased international awareness and recognition. Within this context, the company ukowapi UG was founded in Darmstadt, Germany in 2015. In April, 2016 the startup completed its 12 month incubation at ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Darmstadt. This experience provided the team with the opportunity to consult with ESA experts who supported them with technology insights and ideas to improve its system. In addition, especially the support provided by cesah in relation to general business activities has been very helpful.

In 2016, ukowapi was a finalist in the ESA App Challenge of the Copernicus Masters competition. Thereby, the startup was accepted into the European Commission Copernicus Accelerator programme. Being part of this unique network has been a wonderful experience as the company benefited from business coaching from a dedicated mentor.


The innovative startup operates in the location-based services (LBS) industry. ukowapi has taken it upon itself to ensure that products and services are conveniently made accessible to individuals irrespectively of their current location. The company’s target clients include postal and courier service providers, online stores, online food delivery outlets and several other stakeholders in the e-commerce industry. Sub-Saharan Africa is a high growth, high potential market that is extremely underserved when it comes to e-commerce. This is mainly due to underdeveloped physical address systems. However, the rapid uptake of smartphones and steadily growing mobile phone penetration strongly indicate market readiness and acceptance of innovative digital solutions.

The self-titled product, ‘ukowapi’, is the result of an award winning concept. “uko wapi?” is Swahili and means “where are you?”. As the name suggests, ukowapi is a dedicated location-based service. In addition to providing a low-cost advertising platform, ukowapi also provides business and location intelligence – a source of valuable insights for local businesses. This GNSS-based digital alternative to physical address systems is a ground-breaking mobile solution that facilitates growth in the e-commerce industry by enabling the development of innovative business models. The company’s ultimate vision is to make individuals reachable and provide for a safer, more connected and more accessible world. Find out more about ukowapi at their official website.

Do you have a GNSS-related business idea yourself or do you want to become an ESNC partner? Then go ahead and have a look at Europe’s innovation scouting tool for satellite navigation applications at

Do you have an innovative idea based on Earth observation or do you want to be a future partner of the Copernicus Masters? Then make it happen and check out the leading platform for Earth observation applications at

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