It’s funny how connections work. I got an email from a gentleman by the name of Eric Kamau while I was at this weekends RVA Centennial celebration in Kijabe. He’s the head of True African, a web/mobile company out of Uganda. The timing was surprising because Eric is an RVA Alumni as well. So, from the beginning we had two connections: RVA and technology (add in nyama choma if you like as well).
True African was the first company in Uganda to offer downloadable music via their website. Much like iTunes, Eric has set up relationships with all of the artists – licensing the music. A very forward-thinking and long-term position.
However, True African was built on providing value added services to mobile phone users. They offer a free SMS service on their website that thas attracted over 700k users. True african also offers downloadable ringtones and logos (icons). They have also pioneered mobile based banking through direct partnerships with local banks.
There was a lot more ground covered than just what True African is about, or what I’m doing with Zangu. Mobile banking kept popping it’s head up, as it did when Nicholas and I met last week. It’s really an area that has a huge need. Now, mind you we’re not talking about just general banking online or mobile phone, we’re talking about micro-banking, micro-credit and micro-enterprise support. That’s where the long-tail is.