5 disruptive innovations changing business models in Africa
Business models are being disrupted by technology across Africa and we now take a closer look at the five disruptive innovations shortlisted for the Appsafrica Innovation Awards.
The Awards supported by Uber, Opera, Mobile Monday South Africa (MOMO) the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) and the MMA the Awards celebrate the best in mobile and tech from across Africa, providing winners with global publicity, recognition and networking with 300+ industry peers at the Awards party in Cape Town on November 14th.
The Disruptive Innovation Award finalists are:
1. Domestly — South Africa
Domestly is advancing the way the world cleans their homes. By utilizing technology to connect cleaning professionals directly to homeowners, they make housekeeping more affordable and accessible to everyone, and at the same time create business and opportunities for cleaners.
The platform provides job creation for women, empowering South African women who are unemployed or underemployed. Domestly cleaners can set their own rates. Not only does this offer the customers a range of rates to choose from, but it also allows the cleaner to control her earning power.
2. Flutterwave — Nigeria
Payment processing in Africa can be very cumbersome. To provide that same full-service payment option, merchants and payment service providers have to integrate with each form of payment individually. This means customers can have a POS that accepts Visa and maybe not Mastercard, commonly resulting in failed transactions.
Flutterwave’s technology accepts traditional card based payment processing but also caters to more popular payment processing methods like ACH and mobile money payments and all the above can be done with one API with ability to scale into any currency or any country. It has been launched in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, UK and US.
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4. Opera Max — Africa
The smartphone revolution is well underway in Africa with 2016 set to be the first year in which more smartphones ship than feature phones. However, whilst the price of handsets is decreasing and there’s a huge appetite for more media-rich content and apps, data remains prohibitively expensive for many.
Research has shown that 30% of data is being used in the background, often without us knowing. This means that for every $3 someone spends on data, $1 is wasted.
Opera Max is a data management and privacy app that gives you an extra layer of protection on public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. It also shrinks data use across all your apps, to help you save data and money.
With the App Management feature, Opera Max puts the user control of the data used by apps on their phone. They can choose to block apps from using background or foreground data when the app is not in use or when they are roaming and want to spend data only on a few, choice apps. Perhaps the most exciting feature is smart alerts which let users know if apps are eating up data in the background and gives them a choice of actions.
5. Flare — Kenya
Nairobi, like many cities in Africa, has no functioning emergency response system. Emergency response is operated by a series of uncoordinated private ambulance companies. During an emergency, a patient must call every ambulance company, hoping that one will have a nearby ambulance. It takes up to two hours to access an ambulance and in some instance, far longer.
Flare have built a product that addresses the pain points of ambulances, hospitals and patients. They have integrated the various private ambulance companies onto a single dispatch system. A browser application allows ambulance companies to track and manage their fleet, as well as locate callers to send the closest available ambulance.
For the first time, they can use their data to make better decisions like how many ambulances to operate on a daily basis and where in the city to place them. Smartphones inside the ambulances running an Android application track ambulance activity, ambulance location, and allow ambulance drivers to accept or decline pick-ups, contact patients and hospitals during their trips.
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Follow @appsafrica for updates on the winners.