Safaricom has acquired M-Ledger‘s parent firm, a local start-up called Dynamic Data Systems, which was a runners’ up in its 2013 AppWizz contest and winner in the financial category to help its users track and monitor their M-PESA transactions.
Now dubbed Safaricom M-Ledger, the application will users track their M-PESA financial details for free and will be a Safaricom product than a standalone application.
Long accused by the local developer community as an ‘idea thief’ Safaricom says this is the first move in an “anticipated series of partnerships Safaricom will be pursuing with local developers and startups.” Loosely interpreted Safaricom will be acquiring more local startups than reinventing the wheel or ‘copyin’ their ideas.
TechMoran is yet to establish the financial details of the deal and has contacted Safaricom on the matter.
In the meantime Safaricom says M-Ledger will be available from the Safaricom Appstore to M-PESA customers who use Android-based mobile phones. The application already has already over 35,000 downloads. The firm earlier today began sending SMS notifications to its subscribers to download the app. Though Safaricom had its self-care service where users would keep track of their M-PESA transaction it was so cumbersome to use compared to the Android-based M-Ledger.
M-Ledger, named and modelled after traditional ledgers, promises to provide an easily accessible accounting service for users by allowing them to view and manage all their past transactions on a single view from their mobile phone.
Recently, there were specualtions that Safaricom had acquired Seven Seas Technologies.
UPDATE: In a Tweet Nzioka Waita, Safaricom’s head of Corporate Affairs confirmed that Safaricom had acquired the firm’s IP on M-Ledger.
@SamWakoba partnerships can achieve great things especially if your goals are aligned @JohnKieti @SafaricomLtd @jmwai
— Nzioka Waita (@Nzioka0722) November 19, 2014
@JohnKieti it was an acquisition of the IP, real value for start ups is developing viable IP @SamWakoba @SafaricomLtd @jmwai
— Nzioka Waita (@Nzioka0722) November 19, 2014
Below is Safaricom’s press statement about the deal.
- SAFARICOM LAUNCHES FIRST EVER M-PESA FINANCIAL JOURNAL ON YOUR PHONE
Nairobi – Nov 19, 2014… Safaricom has announced the launch of M-Ledger, an Android based application that provides subscribers on the company’s network with a simple and easy to use financial journal to track and monitor their M-PESA transactions.
Developed in partnership with a local start-up Dynamic Data Systems, the partnership is the first in an anticipated series of partnerships Safaricom will be pursuing with local developers and startups. This is in Safaricom’s continued support of the development and growth of relevant high potential mobile tech start-ups offering solutions to every day problems in Kenya.
“We strive to be the first to market with pioneering products that help transform the lives of our customers – but we are aware that we cannot innovate alone. Our partnership with Dynamic Data Systems signals our increasing commitment to build capacity in the local start-up community,” said Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO.
With the rapid growth in the use of M-PESA by organizations as a payments portal, M-Ledger promises to provide an easily accessible accounting service for users by allowing them to view and manage all their past transactions on a single view from their mobile phone.
Modeled on traditional ledgers as used in the accounting profession, the solution provides historical data on past transactions as well as providing the option to extract the data in spreadsheet form. The application also has a universal search functionality allowing users search for Paybill and Lipa na Mpesa till numbers.
M-Ledger was one of 18 applications developed during the inaugural 2013 Safaricom Appwiz Competition which is aimed at building and nurturing mobile tech startups that build innovative, relevant and attractive solutions for Kenyan consumers and enterprises.
Participants in the Competition were also provided with skills training in business planning, marketing, quality product development and financial management as part of the incubation period of the program.
“We launched the competition with the long-term intention of creating the foundation for a vibrant m-economy that is locally-driven. Today’s partnership cements the commitment we are making to continued partnerships to deliver that vision,” continued Mr. Collymore.
Collymore explained that Safaricom would be keen to partner with other start-up firms and engage in more co-creation initiatives to come up with other solutions to boost the nascent Mobile ICT industry.
In two weeks, Safaricom be hosting the second edition of its Appwhiz Awards that recognize commercially viable projects developed by local firms.
M-Ledger will be available from the Safaricom Appstore (http://appstore.safaricom.com) to M-PESA customers who use Android-based mobile phones. The application already has already over 35,000 downloads. For more information, please visit: http://www.m-ledger.com/. To watch a short video explaining how it works go to: http://youtu.be/W8v0rWiUP9E
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