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Ajua Acquires WayaWaya for Seamless Payments Integration

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Ajua Acquires WayaWaya for Seamless Payments Integration, SiliconNigeria

Ajua, the integrated Customer Experience Management solution for businesses in Africa, has acquired WayaWaya, the Kenya-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) known for its innovative Janja platform, that enables borderless banking and payments across apps and social media platforms, for an undisclosed sum.

WayaWaya founder and lead Janja product builder, Teddy Ogallo, joins Ajua as VP of Product APIs and Integrations. 

The acquisition of WayaWaya allows Ajua to integrate Janja to automate much of the customer experience journey by integrating janja.me product into their product stack, closing the customer experience loop as the smart AI and ML built by WayaWaya gives 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. As well as its vast reach  with social platforms, WayaWaya is also integrated with global and African financial leaders including Mpesa, Airtel Money, Bankserv, First Data, Interswitch, Stripe, Flutterwave, Visa and MasterCard. 

Launched in 2012, Ajua was built to solve the customer experience gap for businesses on the continent to drive business growth. Ajua combines technology with 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. 

The acquisition of WayaWaya comes just one month after Ajua announced its partnership with Nigeria’s MTN for MTN EnGauge, an agile application that offers innovative customer management solutions. The platform 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. 

Speaking on the acquisition, Ajua Founder and CEO, Kenfield Griffith says, “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.”

“The additional reach this acquisition brings allows Ajua to scale significantly within the SME vertical, as we provide our customers today, and in the future, the tools they need to grow in Africa and beyond. We continue to be bullish on the point that customer experience and customer engagement are the engine for growth for businesses across the continent and they are disciplines that are critical factors in driving productivity and revenue growth”.  

The SME market in Nigeria alone is valued at $220 billion annually and projections reveal that businesses with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) have bolstered their productivity by 40 percent. Ajua, the leader in the technology-powered customer experience market for the continent, uses data and analytics to connect companies with their customers in real time, helping businesses to better understand the nature of their customers and subsequently increase sales through smarter experiences. 

Teddy Ogallo, founder of WayaWaya and new VP of Product APIs and  Integrations for Ajua adds, “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 andI have long admired. 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”. 

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African Messaging App Ayoba Hits 5.5m Users, Launches Voice and Video Calling as well as Web Access

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African Messaging App Ayoba Hits 5.5m Users Launches Voice and Video Calling as well as Web Access, SiliconNigeria

Ayoba, the African messaging app, has announced the launch of a new version of its android app (0.38) which offers users access to voice and video calling. This comes as the app celebrates its second birthday on the 4th of May 2021 with a user base of 5.5 million monthly users and an award for Best Mobile application late last year.

The updated app is already live and in use, and is quickly proving popular, with thousands of calls going out across the world every day.  

Voice and Video calling requested by users

‘Users have been asking us to support VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls pretty much since day one,’  says Nolan Wolff, Head of ayoba. ‘And we are extremely pleased to be able to answer their call with this new release. All that’s required is for both parties to upgrade to the latest version of the Android app. This is available immediately from the Google Play Store and our website at ayoba.me.’

Web access with ayoba lite

Ayoba has also launched ‘ayoba lite’, allowing users to message contacts from within a standard web browser, either from their desktop or a compatible smartphone. Ayoba lite is designed as a ‘space saver’ for users who are short on memory space on their device and prefer not to download the app.  ‘Ayoba lite has been built as a progressive web app (PWA),’ explains Wolff.  ‘This allows us to provide much the same core functionality as our full-featured Android app but contained within a standard web browser. This makes ayoba accessible to a very broad audience and we expect to reach an entirely untapped market segment. The initial Beta version of the PWA is independent of the Android app but it will evolve to allow a user to easily switch between platforms.’  Ayoba lite can be accessed  on web.ayoba.me

A very happy 2nd birthday

‘5.5 million users is an immense milestone for a two year old application,’ says Olivier Prentout, Head of Consumer Marketing at ayoba.  ‘It’s crazy to think that two years have gone by since we launched in Cameroon as our first territory and initial partnership with MTN.  The app has changed so much, adding channels, music, games, micro-apps, MTN MoMo in some territories and more.  Localisation has been a key focus for us and we are very proud that users can access the app in 22 languages.’  Prentout continues,  ‘We have over 130 content channels in 7 languages including Arabic, Dari, Pashto, IsiZulu, English, Kinyarwanda and French to name a few.  There is something for everyone.  Help is available to all users with our in app How To channel or via our virtual assistant Aya’.

The two years have indeed been very busy, and also very rewarding, culminating in the achievement of the Africa Digital Award for Best Mobile Application in November 2020, in a voting process involving both industry judges and the public.   

The company recently reassured its users that it’s not possible for messages in the app to be read by anyone, or shared to any third parties. The app features peer-to-peer private messaging which are end-to-end encrypted.  A user’s contacts and location are only available to other users if explicitly shared by the account owner. Users can feel confident that their private data will remain private, and is treated with the utmost care and respect. More information can be found in ayoba’s comprehensive Privacy Policy at ayoba.me/privacy-policy.

In partnership with MTN, MTN customers are automatically allocated free data to use ayoba features. Allowances range from 50MB daily to unlimited usage, depending on the country (with the exception of Benin).  Free data allocations can be used for all activities available in the app – including messaging, browsing, gaming and listening to music, and customers can also download the app data free at www.ayoba.me. Users are advised that voice and video calls are excluded from the free data provisions.  


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A Social Media Platform for Africans by Africans set to be launched in May 2021 (MY!)

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A Social Media Platform for Africans by Africans set to be launched in May 2021 (MY!), SiliconNigeria

MyCountry MyWorld (http://MyCountryMyWorld.com) is set to launch MY! a social media platform for Africans by Africans providing possibilities in world exploration by giving users the opportunity to bring their country and world to each other.

MY! A social media platform is set to be launched in May 2021. “Having developed the app over a period of two years, with a series of tests; we are now confident that the app is ready to be released to the world”, Samuel Zean Jr, Co- founder, MY!

With over 4 billion internet users across the world and growing by 332 million in the past 12 months and more than 900,000 new users each day, MY! Presents a platform where these users especially from developing economies can tell their story their own way and own the platform. Globally, internet user numbers are growing at an annual rate of more than 7½ percent, but year-on-year growth is much higher in many developing economies.

“Majority of Africans complain of how African nations are portrayed by the western countries on both traditional media and digital media. The MY! app is developed by Africans for Africans to help change this narrative. Whereby, everyone is given a chance to tell their story their way.” Samuel Zean Jr, Co- founder, MY!

MY! is an inclusive social media platform that appeals to all age groups. The app provides unmatched user experience, engagement, interaction and entertainment. The app’s interface is user friendly and easy to navigate through. It enables users to share content effortlessly, by providing feedback and updating a post status. It simplifies the collaboration between users and gives them the full visibility of content created.

Developed and founded by a small group of self-funded African immigrant community from Liberia and Sierra Leone who reside in Minnesota, the app is meant to take on both Facebook and Instagram.  “In a time of so much unrest, it brings hope to many seeing this diverse group of people coming together to create something special for the world”. Adam Borgerding, VP of Operations, MY! 

Furthermore, the app gives users the opportunity to retain the rights of authentication for their work. MY! allows its users to maximize their creativity to the maximum and rewards them for every uploaded post shared. The app enables users to represent their country by showcasing an individual’s country’s unique attraction sites, features, wildlife, culture, cuisine, art, skills, talent, stories, business hustle, history and so much more.

MY! will officially launch on May 10th, 2021 and will be readily available on Google Play and Apple Store.

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Fintech Apps Outperform Banks as Pandemic Shakes Consumer Finances

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Fintech Apps Outperform Banks as Pandemic Shakes Consumer Finances, SiliconNigeria

Finance app downloads spiked by 15% during the pandemic, with mobile fintech applications outperforming banks by a factor of up to 10.8x, according to figures from mobile anlaytics platform App Annie.

The report found that amid economic uncertainty, demand grew for finance apps across investing, banking, cash transfers and government aid. Finance apps were downloaded 4.6 billion times in 2020, with consumers spending 16.3 billion hours scanning their mobiles to check their finances.

Downloads increased in April globally amid widespread shutdowns, with the most significant surge occurring in December: a clear indication of the pandemic’s impact on financial wellbeing.

Notably, users took to fintech apps with gusto, with fintech outperforming even the best banking apps by a factor of up to 10.8x. Investment and trading apps like Robinhood were among the top downloaded finance apps worldwide as many consumers took to day trading in the Covid era.

The report, commissiond by app marketing platform Liftoff, analysed 57 billion ad impressions across 81 million clicks, 12 million app installs, and 20 million first-time events in 188 apps for the full 2020 calendar year

“Covid-19 and the ensuing financial uncertainty resulted in users spending massive amounts of time on finance apps throughout 2020, and more readily activating in-app, with rates up a third to 25.1%,” says Mark Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Liftoff. “With many exploring new financial interests, marketers may want to consider tactics that offer resources to nascent users, encouraging retention and increasing confidence in in-app actions.”

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