Sandbox’s platform wants to connect product managers with employers

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Sandbox’s platform wants to connect product managers with employers

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Sandbox’s platform will allow companies to find vetted product management talent with ease across Africa.

Sandbox is a talent-matching platform built for product managers in the African tech ecosystem to find work locally and internationally. “It’s like Toptal, but for product managers,” Khadijah Atere, who works as product operations manager at Sandbox, told TechCabal over X (formerly Twitter) while trying to explain their unique offering.

Founded by Samuel Tobi, Princess Akari, and Ijaola David, the company started as a product within the People in Product

(PIP) community, “a volunteer-driven community of product managers making a measurable impact and helping one another grow,” according to the PIP website. Ijaola David, Sandbox’s product lead, told TechCabal over a video call that a lot of the support for the company has come from the PIP community.

David, a project manager with over five years of experience, said he saw the need for Sandbox when he was starting professionally. “The issue was there weren’t a lot of jobs for product managers. I was lucky to stumble into this role that has become my career,” he said.

While the platform is still new, having only officially kicked off in 2023, David says they are “Africa’s first core product management matching platform.”

TechCabal asked how Sandbox matches product management talents with companies that need them and David explained that Sandbox has an assessment for all PMs on the platform. The assessment helps them segment entrants by experience, skill set, and specialisation.  “So anyone that wants to hire, all you have to do is go on our website, fill out the form, tell us what the JD looks like, and we will now go to our talent pool and find matching talents,” David said.

Sandbox does not currently train newbies to become PMs, according to David and Atere. Their first phase of operations is focusing on helping existing talents to match with companies that need their services. Nonetheless, the platform currently hosts talents with as little as zero years of experience to as much as 10.

Although it’s still in its infancy, David confirmed to TechCabal that they are already a revenue-generating entity from companies that are hiring the PMs in their network. The revenue comes in the form of service charges and consultation fees at the moment, with plans to introduce other models in the future.

Meanwhile, Sandbox is taking a slow approach to raising external funding. David said that because of the PIP community, operational expenses are low. “If we ever need to raise [money] from institutional investors, it should be because we’ve seen that there’s a potential revenue point that we need to invest in and we need to expand there. Maybe we need legal and compliance issues, or we need to expand into a market and they have compliance requirements and we know, once we are in there, we will blow up. Then it’ll make sense to raise money for such expansion.”

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