Kuza is a mobile, location-based business platform for feature phones that helps buyers and sellers in emerging markets to trade goods and services in their area.
Using any one of 6000 supported types of feature phones, a user can create a website, mobi site and business cards right from his phone in about 5 minutes. Our micro-ads, also created right from the phone, are broadcast to an audience in the entrepreneurs’ area, allowing him to reach a wider market. We monetize our product through airtime and micro-payments on a pay-as-you-go basis.
TechMoran caught up with the CEO Pieter Nel and he led us on several developments at the firm.
When was it launched and where?
Demo Africa, 2012, Nairobi Kenya
Who are its founders their age,education or firm behind it?
Pieter Nel (CEO and Co-founder) (38) was previously the Chief Technology Officer of MXit Lifestyle in South Africa. He holds a Masters degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Stellenbosch and is a graduate of the MIT Sloan School’s Entrepreneurship Development Program. His business plan for Kuza Mobile won the MIT Entrepreneurship Center’s EDP business plan competition in 2011.
Andrew Maunder (Co-founder) (30) holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town. His research was focused on designing user-centric mobile services for developing markets. He has spent time at Microsoft Research in Cambridge UK and Flow Interactive, and was the principal user experience architect at MXit Lifestyle where he was responsible for the look and feel of the product.
What inspired you to find Kuza?
We wanted to use our unique experience in mobile social networks to address the more fundamental problems in emerging markets, namely, empowering entrepreneurs to use mobile technology to expand their businesses.
How does it work?
See Demo Africa video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqD5vZswS8A
And watch promo video here: http://youtube.com/kuzamobile
How many users on board now?
Several thousands in both Kenya and South Africa
What is your business model?
We monetize our product through airtime and micro-payments on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Any funding, awards yet?
Funded by Founder Collective (www.foundercollective.com) from Boston, USA
Nokia announced a partnership with Kuza Mobile at Demo Africa 2012.