OCharge is an Airtime Recharge App which rewards users with discount vouchers and deals from Kenya’s top brands, every time they top-up their mobile phones credit.
OCharge is powered by Oliza, which is among the first investments of iSON Innovation and Investments (i3), a subsidiary of iSON Group, a global leader in BPO services. OCharge aims to redefine consumer internet business in Africa.
According to Pratik Kumar, tha former analyst at JP Morgan Chase in India and founder at OCharge, “Airtime recharge constitutes the largest share of expenses for an average young adult Kenyan. Youth is spending more than 50% of their disposable money on airtime and data, and so have to cut corners on other expenses. At OCharge, we want to enable them to do MORE with what they have, without having to compromise. The thought was simple — spend KES 200 on airtime, and get KES 200 off on your next pizza purchase.”
Kumar adds that OCharge thinks the move will not only enable users to do more, but also help local merchants reach out to their prospective customers, with deals and discounts which could entice them to try out new services and products making it a win-win for all.
OCharge works simply. Users are required to recharge airtime through its app. OCharge will then award them with points with equal value to the amount spent on airtime. They can use those points to pick up deals from top brands OCharge has signed to its platform.
For its revenues, OCharge makes a small margin from Airtime sales, and marketing / sales fee from its merchant partners, who choose to advertise with them. The firm says airtime is a need for everybody and it’s simply making it convenient and rewarding to use the OCharge platform.
OCharge is not done yet and says it will keep taking feedback from users, and see which expenses other than airtime would they like incorporated in the product.
Kumar says at the moment OCharge has no competition as its business model is unique and has never ben tried and tested in this market.
“We think Kenya, and Africa at large, is at a very interesting stage where online and tech will start to take off in the consumer segment. We want to be amongst the forerunners to bring in this trend,” says Kumar adding that currently, given OCharge’s business model is new, user acquisition and brand development remain challenges.