Kenya’s Ajua acquires WayaWaya to consolidate consumer experience play in African SMEs – ClearTips

Kenya’s Ajua acquires WayaWaya to consolidate consumer experience play in African SMEs – TechCrunch

Ajua, a Kenyan consumer experience platform for businesses in Africa, today announced that it has acquired Kenya’s AI and ML messaging and payment company Vayawaya..

WayaWaya’s customers and partners include the likes of I&M Bank, Interswitch and MTN. The company offers a range of services from digital banking and payment services to financial services APIs and payment bots..

According to Ajua, the acquisition is Mainly Focused on Vayawaya’s payment bot system called Janaja. The platform, which has customers like Airtel, Easy Money, Housing Finance Company of Kenya (HF Group), enables frontline banking and payments on apps and social media platforms. Teddy Oglow, the entrepreneur who founded Vayawaya, joined Ajua as VP of Product API and Integration.

Per CrunchbaseIs via In college Raised $ 75,000. Although the two companies did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition, Ajua is expected to Paid 10 times more than Vayawaya’s total amount.

Ajua, formerly Shurve, Was established In 2012 by Kenfield Griffith. The company is solving a consumer data problem for African businesses to better understand their businesses and accelerate growth.

“A lot of commerce is happening on the continent and Ajua wants to take companies from transaction numbers to customers for such transactions,” Griffith was quoted as saying by ClearTips.. “Imagine if we knew what consumer habits are for businesses, I mean, this is a huge exponential curve for African businesses. “

Teddy Oglow (Founder, Vayawaya) and Kenfield Griffith (CEO, Ajua)

Teddy Oglow (Founder, Vayawaya) and Kenfield Griffith (CEO, Ajua)

Nigeria’s SME Market Alone Is valuable For $ 220 billion Per year. And during the businesses, Mostly Large enterprises, customers can buy communications equipment, leaving a large segment of small businesses. The drama of Ajua is to use data and analytics to connect companies with their customers in real-time. “We’ve taken what makes enterprise customers successful, and we’re capturing it in a simpler format to have the same tools as SMEs,” said Griffith.

Since most consumer behavior is offline for these SMEs, Azua gives specific USSD codes to its customers to receive payments, receive feedback, and offer discounts.. It is one of the products that Azua has launched for customer feedback at the point of service for businesses. Cumulative Has more than 45 million subscribers.

Company partners and customers include Coca-Cola, FBNQuest, GoodLife Pharmacy, Java House, Safaricom, Standard Chartered and Total.

Janaja as an intelligent messenger bot Used by To automate customer support and cross-border payments to individuals and businesses on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram. Therefore, Janaja’s integration into Ajua’s product stack will automate responses and close the loop of customer experience when customers want what they want..

The acquisition comes a month after Ajua announced with telecom operator MTN Nigeria to launch a customer management product for Nigerian businesses.. The product called MTN Engage carries the same characteristics present in Azua but, in this case, Is tailored In college For businesses using the MTN network. roll out is expected to To generate more data for thousands of Ajua users. It will also be upgraded to include Janaja and other services.

In Blindness, it appears that Ajua created a product like Janaza due to his vast experience in the field of consumer experience.. However, The company opted for an acquisition and Griffith gave two reasons – why it would have taken a long time to build a similar product and that Oglo knew Janaja’s business and operations so well, it was just to get him on board. Got it.

“Teddy was going in the same direction we were going. We In college It is believed Acquisition Instead Vayaveya and A. Really Good company of both products in an effort to solve the same problem. For me, it is about solving the problem together rather than going it alone, ”said the CEO.

As to why he accepted the acquisition, Oglow, who now has a new role, noted that Ajua’s ability to scale customer service and experience and help businesses is one of the reasons and has earned accolades from them. “Seeing how Vayawaya’s technology can complement Ajuva’s innovative products and services, and help businesses and monetize the business, is an exciting opportunity for us, and we are delighted that our teams Collaborating to create something unique for the continent, “.

It is a solid infrastructure of Ajua coming from a founder who is a great advocate of acquisition and consolidation.. Griffith believes that both are strategies for a faster route to new markets and channels in Africa.

I think There are many ways through which we can build an ecosystem. There are lots of young talent building materials, and they do not have access to capital to reach the next stage. The question is whether they want to run to the finish line or take time out and take over. I think If you want to solve complex problems by acquisition then there is a huge opportunity in Africa. “

In the last three years, local acquisitions in Africa have increased at the local level between startups of the same country and between the two countries.. For tHe first came up with the idea of ​​the acquisition of NGCareers by Nigerian recruitment platform Joberman last year. And Pan-African examples are such as iHub’s acquisition of Lagos-based hub CcHub, its Nairobi counterpart; Ethiopian software provider Appojis sells to Nigerian fintech Paga; And Johannesburg-based Fintech MFS Africa acquired Uganda’s Bionic.

The common theme among acquisitions (and most African acquisitions) is their undisclosed sums.. For Ajua, Griffith cited regulatory issues as one of the reasons the company is keeping the figure under wraps..

According to Crunchbase, since launching nine years ago, Ajua has raised a total of $ 3.5 million. Given the nature of this acquisition and partnership with MTN, the company may set another fundraising locations on the scale Aggressively Nigeria (entered a market in 2019) and other African countries.

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