This post was written by MEST Community Manager, Lundie Strom.
On February 27, 2019, MEST Incubator Nairobi welcomed a full house to watch the second annual MEST Africa Challenge regional pitch competition. Following a line up of pitches from nine impressive startups, WayaWaya Ltd. emerged as Kenya’s winner.
WayaWaya is a platform that connects to banks, mobile wallets and payment providers at the same time, enabling users to have one account that allows them to save, invest, make transfers and payments, and access value added services across the world, all in one place.
The WayaWaya team looks to solve several pain points in the banking and payments ecosystem. While existing mobile wallets solve core problems of on-the-ground user access through a widely available network, WayaWaya says “[mobile wallets] are still a closed loop system that means lack of efficient interoperability with other banking and payments platforms, double expenses when transferring funds across platforms, a cluttered set of separate apps, accounts, and integrations for each bank and payment system, inability to freely transact across borders, [and a] manual and costly customer support system.” WayaWaya aims to change all of that.
Statistics show that at least 52% of Millennials and Gen-Z are already using non-traditional payments and banking platforms, and 23% of them are already using peer-to-peer lending platforms. For that reason, WayaWaya has tailored its services to seamlessly integrate with the day-to-day lives and business/financial needs of their target customer — young adults aged 18–35.
When asked how winning the MEST Africa Summit final pitch would help them reach their goals, WayaWaya told MEST, “Winning the Pitch competition would bring [a] spotlight to our ready and working solution… [MEST] and its partners would give us another badge of credibility which is needed in the financial sector, and most importantly, we would [gain] mentors and advisors from MEST to help and guide us into refining our value proposition communications.”
MEST and Microsoft look forward to welcoming the WayaWaya team to the finals at the MEST Africa Summit in June!