Truecaller will be setting up headquarters in Nairobi and has recruited Zakaria Hersi as Director of Partnerships for Africa.
The former MD of Efritin will be spearhead its expansion in the region where he forges partnerships with various eco-system players.
Truecaller has become one of the fastest growing consumer apps in Africa, and has consistently been topping the App Store Charts across the continent for the past two years. The Truecaller app, which allows people to see who’s calling and filter out spam calls and SMS, has already more than 50 million users in Africa. The service is identifying more than half a billion calls on a monthly basis in the region, and 50 percent of all SMS users receives is considered as spam.
The company also revealed that it has more than 6 million users in Kenya alone, where the user base has grown with over 35 percent compared to last year. The Truecaller app is blocking and filtering out more than 4.4 million calls, and 14 million spam SMS on a monthly basis in the country. Women in Kenya report 11% more unwanted calls than men.
“Over the years, Kenya has consistently been a top market for us, with some of our highest usage globally, which is why it made sense for us to set up a strategic headquarters in Nairobi. With this positive momentum of growth, we look forward bringing new, innovative and localized services and offerings, and expand our presence and start engaging more deeply with the tech eco-system.” said Zakaria Hersi, Director of Partnerships, Africa at Truecaller.
Zakaria has a background of launching marketplaces around the world, and has helped the Swedish Investment firm Kinnevik launch Saltside in Nigeria where he was the Managing Director. He also had two stints working for Swedish based company Besedo, where he helped open offices in Colombia and Mauritius. During his period at Besedo he worked closely with some of the largest marketplaces (eBay, Match.com & OLX) in Europe and South America, and was responsible for post-merger integration of the company and French AI company IoSquare.
In a recent study conducted by Truecaller, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt rank among the top 20 countries in the world being plagued by unwanted spam calls.