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Home Startups Ajua, formerly mSurvey acquires Kenya’s WayaWaya for borderless banking & payments across apps

Ajua, formerly mSurvey acquires Kenya’s WayaWaya for borderless banking & payments across apps

by Sam Wakoba
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Ajua, formerly mSurvey has acquired WayaWaya, a Nairobi-based AI and Machine Learning [ML] startup behind Janja, a platform that enables borderless banking and payments across apps and social media platforms.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. WayaWaya founder and lead Janja product builder, Teddy Ogallo will join Ajua as VP of Product APIs and Integrations. Ogallo will join Martin Mirero, the recently hired Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to lead the development of Ajua’s advanced technologies and drive the infrastructure growth of the company.

According to Ajua Founder and CEO, Kenfield Griffith, “The acquisition of WayaWaya is an important milestone for us, as we make a significant leap in ensuring the customer experience journey for businesses across the continent is seamless. Integrating WayaWaya’s technology significantly complements our product suite and gives us the ability to automate our clients’ businesses and grow their revenues, which is an extremely powerful proposition for our customers of all sizes, across Africa. From our experience in this area, we understand the CX fundamentals that drive growth for our customers and we want to bring this intelligence to SMEs across the continent.”

With WayaWaya, Ajua will be able to integrate janja.me product into their product stack to give SMEs the ability to automate responses and give the customer what they want, when they want it. WayaWaya currently helps both individuals and businesses with intelligent messaging, across a number of social platforms, including Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, Telegram, and others, and allows its users to automate customer support and take cross-border payments via its integration with Mpesa, Airtel Money, Bankserv, First Data, Interswitch, Stripe, Flutterwave, Visa and MasterCard.

This acquisition comes just one month after Ajua announced its partnership with Nigeria’s MTN to launch MTN EnGauge, an agile application that offers innovative customer management solutions. MTN EnGauge enables businesses access to digital payments using a unique USSD code, CRM tools, customer feedback channels, debt management and tracking, business and product promotions through mobile and social media channels. Through its new product roll-out with MTN, Ajua is generating more data for its thousands of users, much of which can now be better automated and monetized through the products and services WayaWaya has built, including cross-border digital transfers, payments services and intelligent finance bots.

WayaWaya’s acquisition will help Ajua to take on Nigeria’s SME market which is valued at $220 billion annually.

Launched in 2012, Ajua aims to solve customer experience gaps for businesses on the continent to drive business growth. Ajua combines technology with the customer experience and has built a number of innovative products that deliver real-time customer feedback at the point of service, for small and large businesses across Africa, with the goal to digitalize and power growth for over 45 million SMEs. Current Ajua infrastructure partners and clients include GoodLife Pharmacy, Standard Chartered, FBNQuest, Safaricom, Total, Coca-Cola and Java House.

mSurvey rebranded to Ajua to reposition itself for growth, ambition and get an African Identity in their corporate brand. The tech firm said it drew inspiration for their new corporate brand from Ajua, a 1,300-year-old game of strategy believed to be one of the oldest games in the world. Ajua originated from Africa and spread to the rest of the world, it has been passed down from generation to generation and is still widely played to date.

“Seeing how WayaWaya’s technology can complement Ajua’s innovative products and services, and help scale and monetize businesses, is an exciting opportunity for us, and we are happy that our teams will be collaborating to build something unique for the continent,” said Teddy Ogallo, founder of WayaWaya and new VP of Product APIs and  Integrations for Ajua. “Ajua’s focus on introducing and scaling customer service and customer experience for the continent – and essentially how they help businesses deliver excellence for their customers – is something my team and I have long admired.

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