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How BrillantPay is solving a problem that exists, with Tonnie Nyabuto, CEO

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Chatting with a co-founder, director and CEO of Brillant innovations was a very great moment as he shared a lot of insights into the company. Most especially, their FinTech arm, BrilliantPay which was created to solve the enormous payment problem that comes with e-commerce.

The FinTech industry is very much on the rise and it doesn’t seem like to stop anytime soon. Embracing online channels are on an increase already. Little wonder they have significantly grown since they launched some weeks back. Enjoy the interview.

BrillantPay

What propelled you to create BrillantPay?

Was it as a result of a personal encounter?
BrillantPay came as a solution to a problem to a previous startup I was working. It was a marketplace ecommerce platform enabling sellers meet buyers. The biggest challenge it faced was rooted in the handling of payments as there was no ideal protection and assurance setups for either the buyer or the seller. Some buyers complained of receiving the wrong products from the sellers and sometimes the sellers complained of buyers who weren’t serious, as they ordered and on delivery they had changed their minds. This created a big problem as the company relied on commissions from successful sales to generate revenues hence had to close down as it couldn’t sustain from the low conversions.

Since launch, how well has the startup grown? Would you say you have made significant progress?

We launched our first version of the product in October and over 4 weeks have had over 40 interested online commerce businesses. We are doing a closed beta of a maximum of 30 clients, whom we already have now. The uptake and responses is good, better than we had foreseen. We’ve also created partnerships with all the leading Telcos, Safaricom, Airtel Kenya and Telkom as well as 3 banks and we are pretty happy with the progress.

FinTech is a rapidly growing sector in Africa. What do you think is driving this?

The biggest drive for FinTech in Africa is the shift in lifestyle and commerce from the brick and mortar and legacy systems to more inclusive online-based and mobile-based platforms. This is while sectors like banking and retail are seeing more closure of physical outlets in favour of online-based channels, and hence the need for cash payments is growing smaller as that for cashless payments is becoming bigger. Also, there are better offerings and better competition with pushing things online. All these revolve around payments hence the rapid growth of FinTech to serve these changing dynamics.

In your own view, what do you think is the greatest challenge of FinTech sector?

The greatest challenge in FinTech is access to data. Most FinTech solutions ride on banks and these banks aren’t as open. Banks don’t share their data except within themselves. Although lately a few banks have started offering open APIs for FinTechs, they are still reluctant and cautious in doing so. To create better FinTech solutions, there is need to access data, synthesize it well and then develop a useful solution.

Have you had to deal with competition so far? How has it been?

Yes there is competition in the payments scene. Some has been there for the last 5 years or so. The idea is to find a niche that hasn’t been served by the existing competition and capitalize on their shortcomings. We found that and created a unique solution that’s complementary to existing solutions. We’ve actually had a couple of clients move from an existing solution and integrating ours because of our value proposition and they are happy about it.

How is BrillantPay funded? Bootstrapped?

We initially started by using our own savings and that was the case for a while. We participated in a couple of competitions over the last 6 months like the global Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the KCB Lion’s Den, Kenya’s Shark Tank, as well as Seedstars World Nairobi recently, and were able to get investment. So at least for the short term, we have got funding.

Tell us about your business model?

Our model is simple. We offer protection and assurance to all parties in a transaction to enhance trust and integrity. These are our selling values. The buyers are assured of value for money and sellers are assured of successful sales. Our solution is ideal for online commerce where buyers don’t see what they are paying for until they are delivered, or where virtual products and services are sold.

Let us in on the entire team behind BrillantPay.

The founding Team comprises long-term friends for over 15 years and having experience in different facets of finance, payments softwares, ecommerce, and banking. I previously founded an ecommerce company and with this solution it’s now doing well. I have a B.Eng in Mechanical and Production Eng, and also in Software engineering, and also an Alumni of Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program. I have led teams in creating technological entreprise solutions for insurance companies, agency banking, transport and travel. My CTO is experienced in agency banking, payment switching, web and mobile payments, as well as card processing. He has over 5 years experience in banking software solutions. He has a Bsc. in computer science and mathematics. My CFO is well experienced in banking and finance solutions having worked at Standard chattered bank and also in several other finance institutions in Kenya and UK. He holds Msc in Management and Development of international financial systems from Birmingham. We have a great synergy in our team.

In 5 years, how big do you envisage BrillantPay?

I see BrillantPay as the ideal African payments solution serving 8 countries in Africa. Our 5-year plan is to scale up our solution suite to include the latest payment services and offer the best dynamic payment services for our clients in Kenya and the rest of Africa.

In two words, describe the African FinTech industry and its prospects.

Disrupting positively.

Nigerian EdTech company, ScholarX partners N-Power to empower more ypuths

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ScholarX, Inc., a fast-growing Technology start-up based in Lagos, is pleased to announce a partnership with N-Power, the Job Creation and Empowerment Initiative of the Social Investment Programme of the Nigerian Federal Government.

ScholarX, Inc. has developed a mobile and web platform that helps young African students gain equitable access to education through various funding sources such as Scholarships, Tuition Crowdfunding (Village), and Low-Interest Intervention Loans.

This mutually beneficial partnership will allow both organizations to leverage each other’s technology and capacity reach, while further empowering the growing youth population in Nigeria.

“We are very excited for the opportunity to work with such an impactful programme as NPower. We believe this collaboration is a perfect fit as we can leverage on the great work NPower has done and continues to do, to impact our youth on a much larger scale.” said Bola Lawal, Co-founder and CEO of ScholarX.

Since launching in Nigeria in July 2016, Scholarx has been able to welcome approximately 20,000 students on its platform, where they can access over 10,000 scholarships from across the globe as well as expert advice on the application process, in addition to accessing funds from sponsors in the Diaspora.

‘’I must commend this initiative, it is truly a Bottom-Up approach to a problem that needs urgent attention. I understand the value of what is done at ScholarX as I travelled the length and breadth of Nigeria interacting with our N-Power Volunteers and listening to their inspiring stories of how they support the education of their siblings from the monthly N-Power Stipend. ScholarX provides a platform to crowdsource funds for those who desire an education but cannot afford it.’’ Afolabi Imoukheuede, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation.

You shouldn’t just go to anybody with your ideas – Jimoh Maiyegun, CTO Farmcrowdy

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Some days back, Nigerian AgriTech startup, Farmcrowdy took a giant step on the celebration of their one year anniversary by launching their mobile app.

The occasion which was graced by partners, farm sponsors, beneficial farmers gave all attendees a realer and closer look at what Farmcrowdy is actually doing for smallholder farmers in the country. At the end, everyone saw the level of impact they have made, and are hoping to make in the nearest future.

We had the opportunity of speaking with the Chief Technical Officer (V.P Technology) of Farmcrowdy, Mr. Jimoh Maiyegun where he dished out a priceless advice to upcoming entrepreneurs saying, “Stick your guns to just one idea. If you do too many, you’d get too distracted”. This is one advice that a whole lot of tech startup founder could hold firm, and act on.

Mr. Maiyegun is an experienced ICT expert who has garnered over 10 years experience in software development, robust internet network implementation, ICT consulting and project management.

Jimoh Maiyegun, CTO Farmcrowdy

During our chat, he went further by saying it’s normal to have several ideas. According to him, when you have an idea, you run it by someone you trust and, who is an egghead – someone who thinks. You shouldn’t just go to anybody. This is why there are mentors and teachers to guide us and help us see reasons why an idea would fly or not.

Speaking on his relationship with the founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy, Mr. Onyeka, they met at the Aptech computer institute in 2005 where he taught Onyeka’s class once. Since then, they have worked in Abuja and Lagos together, and on fantastic projects too. There were several other projects before Farmcrowdy’s which idea came early last year around February, and was finally, fully launched in November.

In one year, Farmcrowdy has made a remarkable impact on over 4000 farmers already. And Jimoh Maiyegun predicts that in the next ten years, the company would have impacted well over 40,000 farmers. We really are looking forward to their future impacts, and contributions toward food security in the country. For now, you can read how they have defined the future of Agriculture in Nigeria.

Kenya’s Majik Water to harvest drinking water from air for off-grid communities

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Founded by Anastasia Kaschenko, Beth Koigi and Clare Sewell, Kenya’s Majik Water has launched a prototype and started its water harvesting process in pilot to help people in off-grid communities in Kenya harvest water from air using simple techniques and equipment.

The three-girl team, comprising of Clare, who previously worked as a strategic consultant for 9 years in London and  has for the past two years been living in Malawi where she started her own startup, Anastasia who worked for a company that is leading in dew harvesting as well as product research and development in Canada and Beth, a water entrepreneur in Kenya met in Silicon Valley where they realized they shared the same vision to help solve the water shortage issues around the world.

Majik Water works simply. The device uses sponge like materials that have high affinity for water molecules and attract water from humidity. When heated they release water vapor which is then condensed. This allows them to get water even in low humidity and in arid areas. Since these materials can be reused over and over again once heated it makes this device a one time cost. Majik Water mostly use solar energy for heating, making the device appropriate for off-grid communities.

“We were connected by the same need to see a world where water is in abundance and everyone has access to adequate and clean drinking water,” said Beth emphasizing just how big the problem they were solving is.

“Over 700m people do not have access to clean and safe water worldwide. 319m of these are in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya, 12 million people do not have access to adequate clean drinking water. Most worryingly water shortages are predicted to get much worse over the next decade,” she added.

Through a combination of climate change and overuse of groundwater, by 2025 the UN estimates that 1.8 billion people will face absolute water shortage around the world and two thirds of the world population will be living in water scarce areas.

In Kenya, the firm says most people depend on underground sources of water such as boreholes even though there are limitations to using them. One of the biggest limitations apart from cost is that Groundwater takes millions of years to replenish and the water tables are becoming lower and lower every year due to over use of fresh underground water and due to increase in population.

At some point the ground water will not be available as these sources are unsustainable. Beth adds that due to decreasing water tables there is higher concentration of minerals in water such as lead, Fluoride and arsenic, overtime the effects will be devastating as the chemicals lead to kidney failure and fluorosis in some parts.

As underground water dries up alternative water sources though desalination -it becomes so costly to his is way more expensive than our cost per liter and unaffordable for many people.

Not wanting to blame the government, Beth says the firm has done its best to solve the problem even though corruption and money laundering among others.

“Water issues are sometimes affected by the policies in place but at some point it is supposed to be everyone’s responsibility.  Also there are said to be various loopholes that water mafias use to control the water business in the country,” she said.

According to the firm, there is 6 times more water in the atmosphere than in all rivers around the world. Atmosphere is a source of clean drinking water that has not been utilised and we are introducing the new source of water. But this concept of harvesting water from due is not entirely new as ancient communities have used it, even here locally.

Majik Water’s greatest challenge is the solar system. The firm is exploring different systems to work with to make it easier and affordable for all.

Other challenges include need for a lot of energy to condense water directly from the air. To solve this Majic is using materials with high affinity for water molecules in air and after they capture these molecules they just heat them and collect the water vapour released. This makes it energy efficient.

Most of the technology that exists harvest dew, fog or mist or water in high humidity of 60% and above. But Majic Water’s device can work in low humidity of 35% and above in most arid and semiarid areas in Kenya.

The firm’s initial pilot will help it determine whether to produce a household device or a community device then after two years launch an assembly line of similar water harvesting devices in Kenya. Beth tells TechMoran that the firm has held off raising funds till after its pilot at the end of this month.

 

 

Nigeria’s OurLeaders.Africa set to help users track the progress and performance of their political leaders

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OurLeaders.Africa is an online platform where users can track the progress and performance of political leaders in Nigeria and subsequently, Africa.
Set to launch in December 2017, OurLeaders aims to foster better leadership by creating a platform that not only educates the People, but also enables them to participate in the leadership and governance of the Country.
On the platform, leaders will have access to real-time data from the People (both home and in the diaspora) and gain insight into the people’s perceptions of their policies, projects, and overall performance in office.
The People will have full access to the profiles of elected, appointed and upcoming political leaders in Nigeria. These profiles will be updated frequently with their executed projects and the People will be given the opportunity to like, rate, and share their opinions on these policies, projects and leaders.
This platform is being built to create a constructive dialogue between the People and the Leaders.
Whereas the site hasn’t been launched officially, you can visit the landing page and view the first profile to get a better understanding of the platform and have an idea of what to expect.
TechMoran talked to Nosa L. Igbinedion, CEO, Olubrain Technologies on what inspired him to launch the platform.

What is OurLeaders?

OurLeaders.Africa is an online platform where you can track the progress and performance of political leaders in Nigeria.
What does it do?
It provides detailed profiles of leaders in government. These profiles will showcase their performance, progress, and impact of the work they’re doing. With ample information on the leaders’ profiles, the people are able to deduce whether a leader is making an impact or competent enough for the role he/she has been elected/assigned to.
What inspired you to start this?
While working on a team project during my Discipleship Training Program at TPH, we focused on the problems in politics and the state of the economy in Nigeria. We identified that at the core of both issues was bad leadership. Amongst the various solutions to this problem, the citizens access to credible information will go a long way in driving accountability and better leadership. Above all else, inspiration came from God.
How does it work?
The way it works is simple. Upon arriving on the site, you will be able to browse through profiles of elected and upcoming leaders. As we continue to develop our technology and garner data, we’ll be able to create more interaction and engagement between the people and the leaders.
How big is the problem you are solving?
Bad leadership is our biggest problem, period. It’s detrimental to the future of our Continent. It affects people in very obvious ways. Bad leadership is the reason we have subpar institutions, corruption, incompetence, lackadaisical mentality, just to name a few. The leadership in any Country is a significant determinant of that Country’s growth, development and overall success.
Where are you operating and which regions do you intend to expand to?
Nigeria is our only area of operations for now, but we plan to launch in other African countries in the future.
Why is leadership so important and why do you want to track them?
As I stated earlier, leadership is one of the most significant drivers of any economy. Without proper leadership, future generations will be compelled to grow up in similar conditions that we currently live in. A lot of the problems we face today will remain the same. There will be no change. That’s a disturbing thought. Tracking the performance and progress of our leaders is conducive to the accountability we are in dire need of.
 
 
What will you do to change about leadership?
I’ll keep building OurLeaders.Africa.
Who is your competition and how different are you from them?
Based on the structure of the business, I haven’t come across anyone doing the exact same thing at the moment.
Where do you expect to be in the next two years?
Grooming new generation leaders.

Farmcrowdy is one, and have defined the future of Agriculture (with tech) in Nigeria

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Highlights…

The journey so far
Farmcrowdy’s new appDownload here.
From a farmer’s perspective
Beyond just sponsoring a farm

I was fortunate to attend Farmcrowdy’s one year anniversary and app launch event at the four points Sheraton, Lagos. What blew me away most was not the exotic venue, or hotel, but getting to have a realer and closer look at what Onyeka and farmcrowdy are doing for agriculture in Nigeria.

Onyeka Akumah, founder and CEO, Farmcrowdy speaking at the firm’s first year anniversary

Farmcrowdy is a platform that allows anyone, anywhere participate in agriculture by sponsoring farms. This way, you do not have to go through the physical stress that has deterred a lot of people, particularly youths from participating in Agriculture. An interested farmer elsewhere does all the work, while you provide the funds. How interesting?

In a study undertaken at the faculty of Agriculture, Ahmadu Bello University in 2013, certain factors were identified that deter youths from participating in Agriculture. You know what excites me the most? Farmcrowdy addresses a number of these factors to a large extent. Stay with me.

According to the study, 39.7% of youths are constrained as a result of inadequate incentives. It points out an obvious fact that Agriculture is not featured prominently in the media and is rarely glamorous when it is. Lack of incentives could also include inadequate fund available for youths interested in agriculture. This is as reported by Umeh and Odom (2011).

But since the emergence of Farmcrowdy one year ago, I can say that it has become a bit more popular amongst youths. People have decided to turn to the once dreaded agriculture as it can now be done easily, with lesser capital, while making profits too. Farmcrowdy is really making sure.

The research pointed out that almost 30% of youths avoid agriculture because they do not have the adequate training and extension services. The point here now is, Farmcrowdy does not require you to be trained before you can participate in agriculture. All you need is a smartphone, and some funds in your bank account of course and you’re good to go.

 

The journey so far

12 months down the line, Farmcrowdy has actually done a lot in the AgriTech sector. Launched on the 12th September 2016, they got their first sponsor in just 24 hours.

The company grew from about 8 people to 24 already. In Akwa Ibom, they started with around 250 acres in partnership with Meadow foods to cultivate Cassava.

Having sponsored over 2000 farmers already, over 200,000 chickens and planning to cultivate up to 1000 hectares of cassava in Akwa Ibom, Farmcrowdy hopes to work with at least 4000 farmers next year.

Just in case you’re wondering how they’ve been doing these…

The company identify areas that’ll give them the highest yield, after which they meet with community leaders where they get recommended farmers. They then do a check on the farmers to make sure he’s a right person to work with. Farmers automatically become ambassadors for a community once agreements are made.

Farmcrowdy’s one year anniversary

Here’s a brief timeline of their journey so far…

14th November, 2016: The Farmcrowdy platform was launched.
November – December: They expanded from oyo state where they first started.
January, 2017: Farmcrowdy got a partner and added soyabean as part of their products.
February 2017: The team went to Edo state to work on a Cassava farm.
February – March: At this time, they already had a pool of 200 farmers.
March: The company was featured by Rockeller foundation and Business day newspapers. They were also nominated for the award of best AgriTech platform in Nigeria.
July: They were selected to join Techstars Atlanta as the only African startup.
November: One year anniversary and launched their app.

Farmcrowdy’s new app

#WhatIsInYourPocket

#WhatIsInYourPocket was a campaign launched some days back by the company, while they ushered people into #FarmInYourPocket. The Farmcrowdy mobile app was launched at the one year anniversary event. It allows you to farm from your mobile phone. So literally, you can follow farms, sponsor farms and ask questions about farming all from the app.

From a farmer’s perspective

Mr. Okon Achibom is the Managing Director of a farm in Ogun state. He stated poultry in 2001 and knew farmcrowdy in march, 2017 when they, through farm sponsors gave him 4000 birds. Now, with the help of Farmcrowdy, he’s doing 6000 birds and there’s capacity for more. According to Mr. Okon, It’s been a good experience so far.

 

Farmcrowdy has impacted by helping with distribution of farm produce too, and pay the farmers at the very right time. Generally, it’s been the best ride for Mr. Okon.

 

Beyond just sponsoring a farm

In a Farm in Akwa Ibom, Farmcrowdy employed 1,600 people on just a 100 hectare farm. Move that up to 1000 hectares and it’d be about 160,000 people getting jobs. So basically, Farmcrowdy isn’t just sponsoring farms, they are creating jobs and improving the Nigerian economy.

This was noted by Adaku Omidosu, founder of Meadow foods, a partner company of Farmcrowdy.

On his own part, Godwin Ejeh, Supply operations Manager at Syngenta thinks Farmcrowdy is improving the number of youths that participate in agriculture. We do agree with him as the statistics reflects too. Further more, they’re empowering people and reducing risks and crime in the society.

So, for a food secured future in our dear country, and continent too, you could do your own part by sponsoring a farm today. It comes with profits too. Download the Farmcrowdy app here.

At this point, it’s safe to say that after one year in operation, Farmcrowdy has defined the future of Agriculture in Nigeria, and it’s looking bright.

Four Startups selected to represent the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Africa Regional Summit

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Kinshasa’s finest startups that will represent DR Congo in Maputo

During Seedstars Kinshasa that took place on Friday the previous week, four promising startups were selected to represent their own country at the Seedstars Africa Summit which will be held in Maputo, Mozambique. The event will happen in three day conference along with other startups from 20 African countries which proved to be the best in their respective countries.

Seedstars World the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its DR Congo round to a successful close during Seedstars Kinshasa. The event took place at Béatrice Hotel, and seven selected startups were invited to present their ideas in front of the local jury panel.The four startups which were selected to represent the Democratic Republic of Congo at the regional summit taking place next month in Maputo, Mozambique from 12-14th of December are:

  1. Youdee, an online platform specializing in the real estate industry represented by Jean Louis Mbaka,Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Thomas Strouvens the Executive Director.
  2. Ufumbuzi, a mobile data storage and sharing platform represented by Nathan Ntshimba Bolongo, founder and executive director;
  3. Eteyelo, an online educational platform represented by Archippe Araza, Chief Operating Officer;
  4. Benda Photo, a photo printing and delivery app represented by Albenise Balala, co-founder and COO

The four winners will fly to Maputo, Mozambique where they will participate to an intensive bootcamp and to an Investors day. One of them will be selected by the Seedstars team to represent the DRC at the Seedstars Africa regional final on December 14, 2017 in Maputo.

The other startups invited to pitch were:

McShop, represented by Mike Bondo, CEO. McShop is an online platform that allows local and international brandsto sell their products online to customersin DRC and deliver them to their home.

U-Cash by M. Developer, represented by Anthony Kahindo Mumbere, CEO and founder. Ucash is an innovative platform which aims to facilitate and accelerate mobile money companies’ activities in DRC.

SOGELEC, represented by Tony Bintu, CEO and founder. Congo-Light Energy of SOGELEC aims to supply Congolese households a reliable and eco-friendly energy source at an affordable price.

The event was made possible thanks to the support provided by our main partner Elan RDC, UK Aid, and our local ambassador Konnect, as well as our regional partners Orange, Enel Green Power, Merck, VC4A and Microsoft 4Afrika.

ELAN RDC is a private sector development program in the DRC, funded by UKaid and managed by Adam Smith International. ELAN RDC tackles the root causes of market failures by working with the private sector in six sectors, predominately with Congolese businesses, to design and disseminate new business models that increase incomes, create jobs and reduce prices for the poor.

Konnect supports tech businesses and helps Congolese startups from different sectors in the development of viable business models. Konnect provides in-depth operational support to entrepreneurs and helps them better understand and penetrate their target markets.

M-Shule named the most promising startup at Seedstars Nairobi

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M-Shule, the winners of Seedstars World Nairobi Chapter

M-Shule has won the Kenyan round of Seedstars Nairobi earning the opportunity to represent the country at the major Seedstars summits in Mozambique and Switzerland. The startup will battle with other promising startups for up to USD 1 million in equity investment and other prizes.

Seedstars World, the global seed stage competition of vibrant startups for emerging markets and other scenes where startups are rising up steadily brought the Kenyan round on Friday last week at Nailab, as 11 selected startups were invited to present their ideas in front of a group of local judges.

M-Shule is a startup that developed its idea around improving learning for every primary school student across Kenya using Artificial Intelligence and SMS to deliver personalized and accessible education. The startup will have the opportunity to participate at the Seedstars Summit that will take place in Switzerland in April 2018 meeting up with other 75 winners and investors from around the globe. The winner thereafter will have a prize worth USD 1 million equity investment.

M-Shule also won a whole six month free membership to the Nairobi Garage as part of the prize while the runners up won a three month free membership and the finalists were awarded a two month free membership to continue developing their idea in a great environment around other freelancers.

The runners up was BuuPass a digital marketplace for train and bus tickets that makes simple transportation solutions to help people commute easily whereas Sinbad Technologies a platform to democratize and simplify the process of obtaining marine cargo insurance grabbed the last spot in the top three.

The other startups invited to pitch at the summit were ConnectMed, Jobsikaz, PortableVoices Creatives, Sokompare, The Konnector, TozzaPlus, WazInsure and BrillantPay.

The next stop of the Seedstars World will be in Maputo, Mozambique where all local winners and startup delegates are invited for a three day conference and also get the opportunity to pitch in front of an audience from 20 African countries.

The Best Affirmations for Entrepreneurs going through a rough time

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Entrepreneurs working at a co-working space

Entrepreneurship in Africa especially the Sub Saharan has been a topic that has drawn a lot of attention from a good number of people. It looks like one of the viral trends of the 21st century since the rise of”self branded” entrepreneurs has been rampant. Well, the rise of startups across the continent is of course a positive indication that we are heading the right way considering the fact that the levels of unemployment are discouraging.

However, there have been countless cases where startups have failed to survive within their initial stages of development due to so many factors which can be avoided at zero cost. Entrepreneurs should be in a position to maneuver these pitfalls if they need to stay afloat in business.

Defining the Unique Value Proposition

Figuring out clearly what makes your business unique among its competitors is “more than” important for a startup. There is no doubt that a unique idea works because of its uniqueness. Startups may not necessarily have to create a whole brand new idea to disrupt the world but adding value to an already existing idea is one of the ways a business can stand out.

The specific approach a business has in place for solving a particular identified problem is basically what startups should be thinking of. It is crazy that some entrepreneurs have already developed their own social media platforms just like Snapchat or Instagram because the idea made a fortune but it is unfortunate that these ideas have failed to leave a mark failing terribly.

Knowing your targets and goals

I have been able to interact with some of my friends who have started their own businesses and some of the surprising responses I get when I ask them about their goals set for their businesses. Some of them tell me that their goal is to be one of the recognized brands in eCommerce and some in Marketing which is definitely a good achievement but how exactly can a startup measure that? Goals should always the attribute of being measurable. Startups should therefore at some point come to reflect what they have been doing for a period of time, only measurable goals can give out a clear picture of where a business is heading.

A realistic and reasonable goal can be something like setting up a target of reaching ten thousand email subscribers for an eCommerce startup. At least it is possible to see what you have been able to achieve.

The Real Task

Before taking a step forward creating that business website or printing out a bunch of flashy business cards, it is important to sit down and have a complete plan on how you will generate your own revenue. It is crystal clear that businesses run and sustain themselves through the revenue. Start by asking yourself, How can I make money today and the whole of the week? It is painful coming to realize that you cannot go on with your business after putting all the resources and sacrifice because your startup does not have a clear revenue generation model.

The best thing entrepreneurs can do is run a presell and see if people are willing to pay for the product or a subscription package when a service is being offered. If you are able to make sales with a good return through revenues, congratulations you have a business but if it is otherwise it is the best time to adjust the plans in place.

Establishing a Plan to Improve the business

After a business is now able to make money progressively throughout the week, it is certainly the time to focus on the goals that have been set. It may be building the product or service offered to higher standards, marketing or recruiting human resource. These simple plans are crucial in insuring that the business grows and they actually give you the confidence that you are on the right track.

It is at this juncture that entrepreneurs are able to distinguish themselves from the”self branded” wantrepreneurs who normally have no focus on solving the real problems. Africa faces a lot of challenges as a young and growing continent, it is through these challenges we should discover opportunities

 Mellowcabs & Gettruck selected into MAN Impact Accelerator to fuel their next stage of growth

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South Africa’s  Mellowcabs & Gettruck have been selected into MAN Impact Accelerator to fuel their next stage of growth.

MELLOWCABS is a microtransport company aiming to build, produce, and operate ultralight electric taxis providing an efficient and emission-free service for transporting passengers and goods in city areas  while Gettruck is a freight marketplace providing trucking services to customers helping eliminate empty runs and partial loads.
The two will join the MAN Impact Accelerator to help them turn their business idea into an economically viable reality. They will get the infrastructure required and footing the bill for travel costs, the commercial vehicle manufacturer will also help the startups to network with fellow social entrepreneurs and to learn from each other.
The two were part of the eight selected due to their aim of taking a savvy approach to digital technology to get on top of the transportation and logistics problems that have emerged in the course of global urbanization and increase in population around the world.

The MAN Impact Accelerator aims to give startups considerable impetus to grow further by coaching and lending its expertise, thereby creating a solid foundation for a sustainable business model.

MAN has joined forces with Yunus Social Business, an initiative founded by Nobel Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, to bring this program to life.

The next steps over the coming months will involve analyzing the startups’ needs more closely, selecting the right experts from MAN and other partners to act as mentors, and putting together a work package.

Other companies chosen include:

COMMUT – a tech-enabled shuttle service for office workers in Hyderabad, India.
Aim: to provide safe, comfortable, and affordable public transport for commuters whilst guaranteeing a basic income, job security, and funding opportunities for the microentrepreneur drivers.

FARMART – an online marketplace for unused agricultural machinery to small farmers in India.
Aim: Small farmers rent out unused agricultural machinery to fellow farmers in their area on a pay-per-use basis, which drives down costs for vehicle owners and increases their income. At the same time, this means that more smallholder farmers in India can use machinery to help them in their work.

CROWDCONTAINER – this Swiss company seeks to connect end customers with local farmers in developing countries.
Aim: Several consumers use a crowd-ordering platform to place direct orders, for instance with a coffee farmer. A container is shipped once enough orders have been received. Because the supply chain is completely transparent and because no intermediaries are involved, the farmers receive a higher price.

COUNTRY DELIGHT – Indian startup COUNTRY DELIGHT follows a similar approach.
Aim: Consumers can use the COUNTRY DELIGHT app to order their milk products and have them delivered directly from the farmer. Small farmers receive a better price for their milk products, whereas delivery agents have the chance to make a living as microentrepreneurs.

KRISHI TRADE – this Mumbai-based Indian startup offers smallholder farmers direct access to global markets via a digital marketplace.
Aim: Customers from the Middle East and South Asia who want to place large food orders are connected to aggregated online auctions. Smallholder farmers can use this platform to offer their goods directly, receiving a considerably higher income by cutting out the middle man.

STANPLUS – a digital platform for ambulances and emergency medical services.
In India, as well as in other developing countries and emerging economies, being able to receive first aid quickly is not something that goes without saying. STANPLUS, a startup from Mumbai, operates its own ambulances, which it then pools together with other ambulance services, for example those offered by hospitals.
Aim: Efficient and swift provision of emergency medical services should save lives. This platform is intended to solve the problem of hospitals going “patient shopping”, a term used in areas where hospitals pay their ambulance services based on how “profitable” the patient is.

 

We are building homeWox.ng to ensure every home & office in Nigeria has great furniture

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Homewox.ng has launched to be Nigeria’s biggest online furniture & home furnishings marketplace providing its customers with everything to need to furnish their homes and offices.

According to Jude Ibodje, one of the four co-founders the one stop shop has a huge inventory of furnishings, home appliances, lighting, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, artworks and outdoors among others and aims to be the country’s top online shop for iconic furniture, decors and all kinds of home furnishings.

Here is a complete interview we had with them;

What inspired you?

Most importantly, I will say it’s the drive to give convenience to people who shop decorating Items in Nigeria.

We noticed that the few décor stores available online, do not aggregate a representative of what is available in the Nigerian market. Many people want high value items, while many others are simply contented with budget items.

Typically, it could take upwards of two weeks or more to go around Shopping for Furniture Items you really love in Abuja or Lagos. The Odds are, you may never find what you love, so you are forced to settle for something that is close to your choice.

Then there are states in the country that have very few furniture outlets. The people that live in this areas have decorating needs too.

Now, add this to it. Many Nigerians go abroad to shop furnishings for their own personal use. For they believe that, something as good is not available within the country or that the available few are too pricey.

As a company, we are introducing ourselves into the Nigerian Tech Space with homeWox.ng.

Where do you get your furniture?

We have created partnership with top brands in the country. Many of these companies have been operating for several decades. So they understand the demands and taste of the Nigerian people as well as their budget considerations. The good thing is that these guys, really believe in our offerings.

From our side, we know the importance of having varied assortment available on the site, so we are constantly on the lookout for Brands that will improve our collection.

Who is your competition and how unique are you from them?

We have a lot of them. In every unit of our marketplace, there is usually about 3 – 4 or more that we are competing with. But it’s a really huge market, we are talking of a country with a population nearing 200 million people.

To be frank, none of these guys is as thick as we are in terms of assortment and high value collection. Our Product pricing is highly competitive, and our customer service proposition is also very unique.

Do you have any investors? 

You mean external investors? For now, not yet, however, we are mindful of the fact that money always gravitates to good ideas.

Nonetheless, beyond good ideas, how it’s implemented plays a strong role in its final outcome, hence our emphasis on building our processes to run the company in the most efficient and profit oriented manner.

How do you handle your deliveries as most of the items are bulky? 

Many of our partners already have their in-house logistics arrangements with fleet of trucks and all other delivery channels as deemed fit by them.

However, we have running contracts on call-off basis with very reputable third party logistics companies that are deployed for instances where our sales partners  are unable to deliver orders to clients.

What are your future plans. Any expansion plans to more areas? 

We are currently based in Abuja delivering service nationwide in Nigeria. We hope to extend our physical presence to other cities, then to West African countries and God’s willing to the rest of Africa.

What are your biggest challenges? 

Being a pioneer marketplace in the Nigeria Home Sector, comes with varied challenges and opportunities. The good thing is that we see them as hurdles to conquer. Slowly and gradually, we are getting over them.

In no particular order, I would say they are Deliveries, Payment, Trust Deficit, an Un-organized Furniture industry and then Customer asset Financing. Not to forget that, internet is still relatively expensive in Nigeria.

 Where do you expect to be in the next two years?

 Two years seems quite far off, but it’s actually just less than a stone throw relative to our vision to be around for the long haul.

However, we are consistently reviewing or processes to optimize our strengths and reduce to the least possible, our weaknesses.

Thus for us in two years, we hope to be more ingrained in the consciousness  of Nigerians through numbers of satisfied and returning happy clients  as we march towards being the go-to brand  for this sector.

 

Jumia swaps its property sites in Nigeria, Ghana & Angola for Frontier Digital Ventures’s Afribaba plus $500k cash

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Jumia has swapped its Jumia House property classifieds sites in Nigeria, Ghana and Angola with Frontier Digital Ventures (FDV) Afribaba and $500k in cash.

FDV will therefore merge Jumia House in Nigeria, Ghana and Angola with its ToLet in Nigeria, meQasa in Ghana and AngoCasa in Angola and surrender Afribaba to Jumia plus $500k in cash.

According to Frontier’s CEO and Founder, Shaun Di Gregorio: “This transaction was a rare opportunity in the online classifieds space, and we are pleased that Jumia, a major African classifieds investor, reached out to Frontier with a strong desire to acquire Afribaba and complete this transaction.”

Shaun adds that the deal sees them exit Afribaba and create 3 new market leaders in property verticals in Ghana, Nigeria and Angola.

The deal will also see them rapidly monetise Jumia House Ghana, Jumia House Nigeria and Jumia House Angola which both have strong listings, sessions and advertiser customer bases and retain strong competitive positions in each of their 3 respective markets.

The decision was made given Jumia’s significant interest in acquiring a market leading classifieds horizontal platform in West Africa and from Frontier’s perspective has facilitated the creation of 3 market leaders in Ghana, Nigeria and Angola.

Frontier will start integrating all traffic, listings, agents, advertisers and revenues onto its existing portals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somali Innovate Ventures Fund invests $30,000 into startups from its second accelerator programme

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Innovate Ventures has graduated its second cohort of 10 startups from Somaliland and Somalia graduate from their programme.

The 12-week accelerator programme saw over 400 applications received and doubled the seed investment from $15,000 last year to $30,000.

Four startups from the programme received $30,000 in investment from Innovate Ventures Fund. The significant increase in applications and seed investment, and further support and interest from the private and public sector has seen the reach and attention of the accelerator grow.

First place went to Bilan Baby, a startup that sells baby furniture, accessories and baby clothing as well as maternity products. Bilan Baby received $7,000 in seed investment. Second place went to SAMS, an agritech marketplace for farmers and buyers and Almijet, a digital printing company who received $5,000 each.

Finally, Brandkii, an online marketing and advertising startup, received $3,000. Further investment was provided to Muraadso, an e-commerce startup and last year’s winners; they received $10,000.

Warda Dirir, Co-Founder of Innovate Ventures, comments, ‘the success of this year’s accelerator programme is down to years of ground work in the region and lessons learned. We are committed to helping the region produce more technology driven businesses that resolve business challenges in the region and tap into untapped markets’. Given the growth of the programme, more applicants and larger investments are expected next year, giving the burgeoning Somali tech startup scene further support.

 

JUMO raises $24 million loan facility from Finnish development Finnfund

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Jumo, a big data analytics firm which allows cost-efficient provision of loans has raised $6m from Finnfund in form of a debt instrument to support its expansion in Africa and Asia and the development of its platform in order to provide new services for SMEs, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The $6m is part of an overall 24 million USD-loan facility, which was arranged by Gemcorp Capital, an independent emerging markets investment management firm based in London and an early investor in Jumo.

According to Jaakko Kangasniemi, Managing Director of Finnfund, “We are keen to provide funding for Jumo’s expansion and further development. Financial inclusion is very important for development; people need to be able to access quality financial services. It gives them security, enables them to plan their lives more effectively and often gives them an opportunity to start or grow their own business and improve their livelihoods.”

JUMO is a multi-sided platform for Mobile Network Operators and Financial Service Providers and has served over 5 million people in Africa and Asia using behavioural data from mobile usage. Users are able to create a financial identity and gain access to affordable, real-time, financial services fitted to their specific needs. The services are benefitting broad segments of customers including people with low incomes and those who own micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who have previously been excluded from traditional banking services.

“As an investor, Finnfund brings a sharp focus to achieving meaningful social impact with sustainable profit. That aligns well with our mission,” says Andrew Watkins-Ball, founder and CEO of Jumo.  “Having proven our model, we are now expanding our footprint to reach millions more people who are excluded from the formal financial system. With Finnfund we have an investor who supports our view that inequality is unacceptable.”

Jumo has granted more than 20 million loans.  Currently, the company employs over 300 people, who are mostly based in South Africa. The main markets include Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Pakistan.

Naked raises R20m investment from Hollard & Yellowwoods to give customers a more flexible insurance experience.

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Naked also revealed that it has appointed outgoing Hollard group CEO Nic Kohler to its board of directors.

 

Applications for the FNB Business Innovation Awards opened for SA startups

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SA’s entrepreneurs will once again be under the spotlight after FNB announced the official opening of entries for the coveted FNB Business Innovation Awards (BIA) supported by Endeavor South Africa (EndeavorSA).

The 4th instalment of the BIAs will take place in 2018 and businesses that can exhibit innovation and highest potential to scale are invited to submit entries. The businesses must be founder-led, demonstrate potential for high-growth and have the ability to add substantial economic value through the creation of sustainable employment opportunities.    

Successful entries will go through Endeavor SA’s rigorous selection process where the qualifying entrepreneurs will be interviewed by a seasoned selection panel before they are shortlisted as FNB Business Innovation Awards Finalists for 2018. The selection process also entails that the finalists get an opportunity to present their businesses to the judging panel.

“More than ever before, South Africa needs entrepreneurs who can help to change the country’s economic fortunes for the better. The BIA platform presents the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs to obtain the support they need in order to scale and contribute to job creation and economic growth,” says Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business.

The overall winner will be dubbed the FNB Business Innovator for2018; the winner of the 2018 leg of the awards will receive an all-expenses paid trip to attend the prestigious Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP) which takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina from the 5th to 7th September 2018.

Craig Raw, founder of BrandsEye and the winner of the 2017 FNB Business Innovation Award says the accolade opens up international markets and provides the exposure which is necessary to successfully for building a scalable business.

“This platform gives entrepreneurs the ability to think globally as business need not be bolted down to a local market when the view is growth focused, exposure to and how successful businesses around the world operate adds a new dynamic to local business,” adds Raw.

As we are approaching Entrepreneurship Week (13 – 19 November), entrepreneurs are invited to submit their entries. Entries are open and will close on the 30th of December 2017. To apply one must visit www.fnbbusinessinnovationawards.co.za and follow the prompts on the website.

 

 Frontier Digital Ventures-backed meQasa.com acquires Jumia House Ghana for an undisclosed amount

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meQasa.com, an online real estate portal has acquired Jumia House Ghana, for an undisclosed amount, firmly establishing the property portal as the country’s largest and most trusted.

Jumia House has struggled after Rocket Internet merged the platforms into one to create Africa’s largest classifieds group but the results have not been as encouraging.

According to meQasa.com’s Co-founder, Kelvin Nyame,“The acquisition of Jumia House Ghana has placed meQasa.com in a prime position to better serve Ghana’s growing real estate market. Our combined businesses will have the scale and resources to transform the way Ghanaians buy and sell property. With the acquisition, we will be the go-to destination for property buyers, renters, for real estate agents, and alike.”

Founded in 2013, meQasa.com has grown to become a trusted name in Ghana with over 450,000 views from over 80,000 visits from property seekers every month, looking at over 25,000 listings by more than 1200 agents and developers.

Nyame added that together, meQasa.com and Jumia House Ghana, will claim host to over 150,000 visits from property seekers every month and will be in the position to send more leads and convert more sales for their customers.

He added, “Property seekers already trust that MeQasa represent the most effective way for people to research, find and ultimately buy or rent properties. With the acquisition, we’re providing property seekers, property agents and property developers a one-stop destination for comprehensive, trusted, and up-to-date property information. We want to be the first website people think of when they are looking to research, buy or rent a property.”

With competition and confusion out of the way, meQasa is expected to increase its leads and marketing solutions to drive sales for customers.

“While we double the number of listings available for property buyers and investors, the acquisition also exposes property developers and real estate agents on meQasa to more property seekers than ever before. This ensures that our advertisers receive more leads from meQasa compared to any other portal in the country allowing them to focus on closing more sales.” shared Nyame.

In November 2015, Frontier Digital Ventures invested US$500,000 into meQasa to help it develop new marketing strategies and products and services in the market. The investment gave meQasa.com the energy it needed to become the preferred marketing partner for customers and property buyers and investors in Ghana. 

 

MyQ are now integrating interested transporters on its platform for free – Ishiaku Gwamna, co-founder

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The transportation sector in Nigeria, maybe Africa, is surely not at its best. Like other sectors, it is only normal for entrepreneurs to find solutions using tech. This is exactly what Ishiaku Gwamna and his team have done with the creation of MyQ.

With the help of MyQ mobile app, you’d possess more information about your trip. It helps transport companies manage queues and tickets effectively.

TechMoran chats with a co-founder, Ishiaku Gwamna where he shares a lot of insights about MyQ and the problem they’re solving. Enjoy.

Founders, MyQ

You are on course to starting pilot phase for transporters on your platform. Do tell us about it.

The MyQ Platform development is finally done after 2 years of prototyping, market research, and product development. Now we are integrating interested transporters on to the platform. Our pioneer transporters will be boarded free of charge for them to enjoy the real-time trip management services MyQ provides.

With the initial launch of MyQ, one might think you’ve faced transportation problems before now which propelled you to create the service. Is this true?

Yes, this is very true. MyQ idea came up as a result of problems faced by passengers in the long journey commercial mass transporters, in that passengers have no idea about trip availability at the stations and also the uncertainty with booking a seat against a future date.

This is why MyQ was propelled to come up with an end to end real-time service, where passengers can check trip availability from their smartphones.

Since the launch of the startup, tell us how well you’ve grown. Significantly?

Not that significantly, remember this is a market with a limited exposure to ICT, the bulk of our work has been majorly focused on market research to gauge the demand and product development to model the solution according to the market feedback to ensure acceptability.

We have been taking baby-steps to enter the market, finally, we are able to develop the product to a point where we are confident to carry out the pilot now.

How have you been able to bring private and public transport companies on board your platform?

We have been in touch with a lot of State Government owned mass transit companies and a few of the private companies. Like I said earlier, we are now calling for transporters to board for free on our pilot programme to kickstart our operations.

In your own view, what is the biggest challenge the Nigerian transportation sector is facing?

The biggest challenge, from the voice of the transporters and passengers, is simply lack of information. This is very key for effective service delivery.

The passenger must be adequately informed about the trip, the transporter must be adequately informed on whether the passenger has been served effectively. These 2 are the stakeholders in the industry.

How big is the market you are currently serving?

We are not yet in the market. we are about to start the pilot scheme

Ishiaku Gwamna, co-founder MyQ

Tell us about your business model as a company.

We operate a business to business model. When the transporter subscribes to the service, a commission is charged on every ticket checked into a vehicle for a trip.

How is MyQ funded? Bootstrapped, or otherwise?

We have been bootstrapping from day one to this day.

Let us in on the team behind MyQ.

4 founders as follows:
1. Ishiaku Gwamna
2. Ifeanyi Nnabugwu
3. Ibrahim Saidu
4. Abubakar Sambo

In a 5 year period, how big do you envisage MyQ?

Our vision is to bring the whole long journey road transport industry to a single platform accessible to more than 80% of the population who use this service daily.

What other plans do you have that’s help ease the way we do transportation in the continent?

Apart from the core service provided, which is Real-time Trip Management for the stakeholders, we also will provide insurance namely driver passenger and vehicle, adverts on vehicle and courier service tracking as value-added services to our transporters and their passengers

In two words, tell us your personal recipe for success thus far.

Simplicity and Customer-centricity

Kenya’s Unimall launches to give students a good shopping platform

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Unimall website homepage

Unimall a Kenyan startup is working to eliminate the hustle of sourcing out commodities and shopping needs for students. With a wide product line, the eCommerce company has made it possible for students to have easy access to products such as cooking flour, beauty and cosmetics products, cooked food, school supplies such as books and electronics. It has been convenient for students since at the comfort of their hostels they can place orders through their phones and the goods are delivered within the same day.

The birth of Unimall came about when Kennedy Omondi one of the founders and his friends were inside their hostel after a stressful day of searching for a certain equipment. As engineering students from Moi University one of the leading universities in Kenya, they had a project that need the specific product which was supposed to be used in prototyping the project they were working on. Unfortunately they were not able to find it from the local shops so they had to go to the nearest town Eldoret and blindly search for it door to door.

“It was stressful for us because even though we were tech savvy, the available online shops could not provide us with the most common items leave alone the category of items we were interested in. that’s when we saw that there was better ways of doing things and we needed to try bringing that to an end,” narrated Kennedy Omondi when TechMoran reached out in an interview.

Ordering  Procedure on Unimall

For students to be able to shop they need to visit the companies website and place an order first by identifying the exact product they need. After that, a customer is required to key in their location and delivery information and lastly complete the simple process by paying via Unipay payment system which has been integrated. At the moment, Unimall is working to roll out a mobile app for the various mobile operating systems.

Unimall founders believe that Kenya has the right market for their business because of the growing population of the youth especially students in tertiary institutions, colleges and universities. They believe that Kenyan consumers are smart at choosing solutions when a solution is provided that addresses their pain points.

Business Model

The startup has adopted a simple business model where revenues come from commissions on products listed on the site when they are purchased. Partners providing the inventory are given the chance to list their products for free and in return give out the commissions for the goods bought.

Currently, their main target as a startup is to provide a first class customer service to students which they are positive that it will be of huge importance in spreading word of mouth from experienced customers to new customers as a strategy to venture in new markets.

Challenges Unimall faces

As a startup to the eCommerce industry in Kenya, there is stiff competition from already established brands like Jumia and Kilimall who have been around for some time now. Unimall wants to stand out as a shopping platform for students unlike the other brands which focus on the wider population.

Acquiring finances to kick start the project was also a challenge which has now been replaced with the need to have adequate funds for marketing and the high operating cost coming from site maintenance.

 

 

South Africa’s Slide Financial is like gmail but for sending money

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South Africa’s Slide Financial founded by three young South Africans who recently returned from living in the States is simplifying the way South Africans pay each other by making payment as easy as sending a message.

Inspired by PayPal-owned Venmo, the Slide app is a safe, simple and free way of sending money from one person to another using a mobile phone. Making a payment is as easy as sending a message.

“Standard payments are often expensive and inconvenient, while cash is unsafe and not everyone has easy access to an ATM. This opened up the opportunity for Slide,” said co-founder Irshad Kathrada.

Mobile phone penetration is growing quickly across South Africa, with more than 90% of adults having access to their own mobile phone, the slide team expects rapid growth as it helps lower the barriers to sending and receiving money can have a material impact on financial cohesion across the country.

Person-to-person payments are a large part of the South African economy, with consumers seeking more convenient and cost effective ways to do this. According to a 2015 FinScope study, bank/ATM (43%) and supermarket money transfers (42%) currently dominate payment channels, while use of cash is in steady decline.

 

It saves you having to carry cash or knowing someone’s bank account details. It also doesn’t matter which bank or mobile network operator the sender or receiver uses. Slide is ideal for parents sending money to their children and for sharing costs like rent, concert tickets or a restaurant bill. A worker who wants to send money to his family within SA can now do it at no cost.”

After downloading the Slide Financial app on the Google Play or App Store, a user completes a quick sign up form which links their contacts so a user can choose who to pay or add a new contact with a cell number or email address.

Then simply add how much you want to pay, personalise your payment with a message, and authorise and send the money by selecting the bank you are with. Payments are funded using EFT secure technology direct from the sender’s bank account.

The recipient will be notified by SMS and email and then prompted to download the app. The money can be cashed out at any time to his or her bank account with one click. The money typically appears the next business day irrespective of bank. The sender will get a confirmation that the funds have been received.

 

According to co-founder, Alon Stern, “We researched the market and reviewed payments apps that have worked in SA and those that have failed. Those fintech businesses that failed tried to enter the person to person payments market wanting to pass costs on to the sender and /or receiver, and in some cases restricted use to certain mobile or bank networks, which limits who you can send money to or receive from. This resulted in their lack of success. We used these learnings to develop an enhanced solution.”

Slide makes use of the highest level security protocols. Payments into the Slide network use the same security protocols as internet banking. Payments from a bank are facilitated by CallPay under the highest level encryption, with advanced compliance levels.

Slide is a gold member of AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs powered by RMI Holdings and has been funded and developed by its founders: Irshad Kathrada, Terence Goldberg and Dr Alon Stern.

“Slide is a great example of importing a hugely successful international fintech business and localising it,” said Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode. “It is very exciting when South African talent returns from overseas bringing their experience and different perspectives. I believe there is a need for a solution like Slide, particularly for the urban millennial consumer.”