Set up in 2014,the Safaricom Spark Venture Fund is a venture capital fund that aims to support the successful development and growth of high potential mobile tech start-ups in Kenya through a combination of investment, business development support and technical assistance leveraging on Safaricom’s unique capabilities, assets and market positioning.
It’s major goal is to assist upcoming entrepreneurs with the resources and connections they need to grow their businesses. As such, it has today announced its $1 Million investment in mSurvey. mSurvey, as the name suggests, leverages the growing reach of mobile phones, and connects you directly to people through mobile survey conversations. Their intuitive technology helps you to design your own surveys, immediately push questions as chats to the mobile phones of millions, and then watch as the responses roll in.
“mSurvey is well positioned to meet the growing need for timely, informed insights for firms operating in a middle income economy. Today’s investment will benefit mSurvey with the requisite resources as the startup embarks on its next phase of growth and delivery of innovative solutions to more firms,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
Started in 2012 by Kenfield Griffith, an MIT PhD alum and Caribbean Native, mSurvey was built with a goal to simplify access to high-quality data from hard-to-reach communities. Currently, mSurvey is creating brand new opportunities by connecting businesses and organizations to previously hidden and offline voices. Unlike normal, hardcopy research tools that can be time-consuming, expensive and subject to low response rates, mSurvey opens a dynamic, interactive and unfiltered communication channel that delivers insights from real people, in real time. This eliminates the need for printed questionnaires that result into long response times.
mSurvey uses an spontaneous system to target select local audiences or random, diverse populations. Users design structured conversations, similar to customized bots, and push questions as chats to millions of mobile phone users. Responses roll in on a live data stream, usually within minutes, and with an average 60 percent response rate that triples the reach of traditional survey tools.
Some of mSurvey’s clients include Safaricom and other mobile operators in East and West Africa, banks and financial institutions, and restaurants and research organizations. mSurvey has partnered with Safaricom to provide insight generation tools to businesses that use Lipa Na M-PESA.
“Safaricom’s investment in mSurvey is a testament to the impact that we have had on our customers in the last four years and we are grateful to be Safaricom Spark Venture Fund’s largest investment to date,” said Kenfield Griffith, CEO, mSurvey. “With the increased adoption of mobile messaging as the communication lifeline for consumers across Kenya and other emerging markets, we are excited about the opportunity for growth and plan to use this investment to empower thousands of businesses in Kenya, especially small and medium enterprises, with intelligent data-driven decision making tools.”