About Orion Origin
Steady growth has been the main constant we have focused on, over time.
Our HQ is situated in the beautiful Benin republic, in Western Africa. We have Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina-Faso to the north-west and Niger to the north-east. The capital is Porto-Novo, while the economic capital is Cotonou.
We have grown from one lone ranger to more than twenty-two people, spread across four countries in different continents. Daily, we come together across the physical divide to ensure that our clients get the best service without fail.
We are committed to making user-friendly, beautifully designed products that bring YOU closer to your dream.
To build, ship and support products that lighten the load for WooCommerce store owners around the globe.
Growth and impact, no matter how small, is a worthy way to measure how far one has come since the beginning. The company started out after a big blow: Hermann Lahami, our founder, had just lost his job in Benin Republic.
The company that Hermann Lahami was working at, shut down their operations in the country. Doing that also meant that everyone was fired from the company, including Hermann. They were all being owed salaries for several months and were given excuses as to why they were let go. It was tough finding a balance or even a job. Hermann’s elation at finding another job as an intern was deflated on the first day there because he realised that everyone else was just whiling away time, waiting for their salaries at the end of the month. His thirst for more, to build something that truly mattered clashed with this ideology, so he quit, and started freelancing on platforms like Elance and Guru.
In no time at all, the workload became so much he had to consider hiring people. The first person to join the team was Madinath Ajibade, who cannot look back at the initial interview without laughing: Hermann had been freelancing from his apartment and had received her for the interview in flip-flops, and wearing an old torn t-shirt and a strange pair of shorts. Definitely not the typical attire for a CEO who is looking to employ you. She took a chance and has been with Orion for more than seven years now 🙂
Months into taking freelancing gigs, Hermann started getting multiple requests to build a WordPress plugin that would allow customization of WooCommerce products online. Doing this successfully led to several sales to each of the clients and even more that would come later on. Being based in Africa, it was not possible for us to sell our own products online and get paid from our own sites. The unavailability of Paypal and other payment gateways did not allow that. Eventually, we set up a shop at the Envato marketplace to be able to overcome these issues. Our time at Envato taught us about marketing, customer support and how to develop our products and release updates for hundreds, then thousands of customers simultaneously.
Two years ago, we realised that Envato would never protect our rights as code authors. Despite proof, Envato did nothing to other authors who stole, renamed, then sold our source code on their platform, so we left and we joined the Stripe Atlas program to incorporate a company in Delaware and be able to use the Stripe platform to process our payment. That worked like a charm and allowed us to leave Envato and sell on our own websites.
The Orion family has grown from two individuals to 23 people working across 4 countries on three continents. We aim to be totally distributed eventually. We know that we still have a lot to learn but we also know that together we can do the impossible.
I realize that there is always more to learn. I will not just work on what is assigned to me but will ensure the success of the team as a whole. I am more motivated by impact than money. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague. I will communicate as much as possible because it’s the air we need to grow as a company. As long as I work together with others, we can climb any mountain in our path to achieving our goals.