Today’s Top Entrepreneurship And Business Stories (14 November)
M-Shule Named Most Promising Startup At Seedstars Nairobi
On November 10th during Seedstars Nairobi, M-Shule won the Kenya round of Seedstars World and will represent the country at the Seedstars Summits in Mozambique and Switzerland to compete for up to USD 1 million in equity investment and other prizes.
Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its Kenya round to a successful close during Seedstars Nairobi. The event took place last Friday at Nailab, and 11 selected startups were invited to present their ideas in front of the local jury panel.
The local winner, M-Shule, a platform that improves learning for every primary student in Africa using artificial intelligence and SMS to deliver personalized, accessible education, was selected the best startup in Kenya. As part of the prize, M-Shule will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in April 2018, a weeklong training program with the opportunity to meet the other 75 winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 1 million equity investment and other prizes.
M-Shule also won a 6 month free membership to the Nairobi Garage as part of the first prize, while the runner up won a 3 month free membership, and all the finalists were awarded a 2 month membership to continue developing their businesses in a great environment around other freelance entrepreneurs and SMEs. Anyone else can get $50 off until December by signing up here.
BuuPass, a digital marketplace for bus and train tickets that creates simple transportation solutions to help people move easily, came second, and Sinbad Technologies, a platform to democratize and simplify the process of obtaining marine cargo insurance, grabbed the last spot in the top 3.
The other startups invited to pitch were ConnectMed, Jobsikaz, PortableVoices Creatives, Sokompare, The Konnector, TozzaPlus, WazInsure and BrillantPay.
FlySafair and Zapper Partner To Enable Mobile Payments
FlySafair and Zapper have joined forces to provide travellers with a more feasible flight booking service. Travellers can now use the Zapper app to pay for FlySafair tickets online, as well as at airline web kiosks and sales desks at OR Tambo International Airport.
The time-saving and frictionless payment option eliminates the need for passengers to complete mandatory payment information fields – customers can now simply select the option to pay with Zapper, scan a QR code on their computer screen with their smartphone and confirm the amount due.
Customers booking tickets via mobile devices enjoy the same ease and convenience – Zapper’s deep-linking technology allows them to tap the generated QR code to confirm payment.
“By introducing Zapper as an additional payment method, we provide our customers more options and greater flexibility. Zapper is a good fit in driving FlySafair’s strategy to become the most innovative airline in the country – driven by leading-edge technology trends and seamless user behaviour,” said Eswee Vorster, FlySafair’s head of IT and innovation.
“As mobile drives the future of payments forward, Zapper continues to champion the cause by providing a rewarding payment option that enhances users’ lifestyles. Faster and more efficient checkouts when paying for flights is yet another way we bring additional convenience to peoples’ lives,” said Konrad Karczmarczyk, regional sales manager for Zapper South Africa.
FNB Repositions Its Investment Offering
FNB has announced its intention to significantly enhance its investment offering to clients by investing heavily into its Wealth and Investment business that now combines the existing investment capabilities from FNB, RMB Private Bank and Ashburton.
FNB Wealth and Investment consolidates the advisory, trust and fiduciary, unit trusts, online share trading, stockbroking, portfolio management as well as the investor platform capabilities. The Asset Management capabilities will remain within Ashburton.
“We are investing vigorously in new products and digital platforms to enhance FNB’s investment advice, packaging and distribution capabilities. Customers will benefit from using their existing relationship with the bank for more complex requirements making the investment process easier and rewarding. The new structure brings together a wealth of investment expertise from across the FirstRand Group,” says FNB CEO Jacques Celliers.
FNB customers will be able to access all their banking and investment products in one place, making the management of their full net worth and investment goals much easier. The bank has a major head start to unlocking innovation in the delivery of its investment products with some 2 million clients active on the banking App and 2.2 million active on online banking.
“With over 7.8 million customers in the FNB base, there is a vast opportunity to further entrench main-bank relationships. Using the reservoirs of data we have and our analytical capabilities we are able to maximise the opportunity to meaningfully cross-sell to our customers as they progress through their various life stages. Our fintech proficiencies will ensure that our clients get the right financial advice digitally or via an advisor from a trusted money manager, with over 800 investment experts whilst still maintaining control through a single view of their financial affairs through the bank’s integrated digital platforms.” adds Celliers.