M-Changa, a disruptive mobile and SMS crowd-funding application is integrating with international payment system PayPal to expand its activities to the Diaspora.
M-Changa, by integrating the PayPal system will enable people anywhere in the world to contribute to a friends fundraiser as long as they have access to PayPal. This will give M-Changa a massive ability as PayPal has over 153 million accounts worldwide and is available in 190 markets and 24 currencies worldwide.
However using its own USSD platform M-Changa has served over 1550 people and using social media it is aggressively notifying its growing customer base with testimonials, promotions and deals. In their December 31 2012 “Changathon” they supported fundraisers of select individuals and organizations. It has also instituted a new way to start fundraisers “directly” from social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
This 2013, M-Changa wants to focus on growth, launched October last year the team says it has doubled all of last year’s numbers in the first month of 2013 and is sure to double its growth month on month.
M-Changa being available on USSD at 2231 and with a web and mobile presence, its accessible across the country and being on social networks doubles their impact. However the big news is, in three week’s time M-Changa will be fully integrated with PayPal to expand fundraisers to the Diaspora.
TechMoran caught up with them and here is what they told us.
Explain what you deal in to a layperson?
M-Changa is a perfect solution for an everyday activity that Kenyans take part in. With our modern lifestyles and time constraints, physically attending fundraisers and doing cash donations is not always efficient. M-Changa is targeted at individuals who are interested in efficiently and transparently managing a fundraiser from beginning to end.
Why SMS crowd-funding? Are people receptive?
This is something we Kenyans already do! M-Changa is not reinventing the spirit of Harambee. M-Changa is enhancing this homegrown and familiar activity to enhance the performance of fundraisers. Kenyan’s are also leaders in mobile money having introduced M-Pesa to the world. M-Changa marries these two traits of our society to present a product Kenyans are extremely receptive to.
Biggest deal, moment or client so far?
The Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya is to-date the most significant client on M-Changa platform with over 400 contributors in their fundraiser. The Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya plans to raise more than Ksh 2 million using M-Changa in the first half of 2013.
What is your business model? Are you profitable yet?
Our business model is fee based. There are small fees for actions performed by individuals after they have initiated their fundraisers.M-Changa expects to return profit by end of 2013, 15 months after launch.
Any competition in town?
There are no direct competitors.
Any funding yet? How much?
M-Changa received USD 35,000 in initial seed funding to bring the product to market. Then US$ 20,000 has been injected by the directors and second round of funding is being negotiated.
M-Changa is currently exploring various partnerships, particularly with financial institutions. We at M-Changa believe that this platform is another tool in the market that is adding to the depth of the financial sector and is of immense benefit to Kenyans who remain largely unbanked even though the situation is changing rapidly.
We are also interested in partnerships with Social investors like Khosla Ventures and Accion both of which have a local presence.Technical partnerships are also being explored. Of particular interest is Nokia and the “Life Apps” platform that integrate would-be applications directly on the phone at the manufacturers level.
Tell us more about the founding team, their experiences, what inspires you?
The co-founders of Mobi Changa Ltd registered in 2011 are; Kyai Mullei, MBA – Computer Information Systems, I returned to East Africa in 2006 and founded InfoSystem Solutions Limited – for design and implementation of hybrid software solutions for SMEs. I am also a cofounder DevInfo Kenya, Kenya’s first web portal dedicated to development information.
Another co-founder, David Mark is a serial entrepreneur and a Human Interface design expert. Prior to co-founding M-Changa, David developed the first street parking crowd-sourcing application for New York City. David also developed an SMS HIV Risk Assessment system for Africa and India and a mobile device for clinical research in non-traditional environments.
Our third co-founder ,Jefkine Kafuna has a BSc Actuarial Science and is a proficient Java, J2EE developer and Clustered Computing frameworks like Hadoop.
What else have you done that is still standing?
Several things, you can check online here