The advent of mobile money transfers in Kenya has inspired many technology startups to take the innovation forward. Kariuki Gathitu quit his job at a leading regional bank three years ago to start a company that builds financial solutions for businesses.
Zege Technologies launched a product to make it easier for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to manage their finances. MPAYER allows businesses to receive and send money via various mobile money platforms, as well as credit cards, in an easy, affordable and convenient way.
Gathitu previously worked at Equity Bank where he pioneered the integration of mobile money and banking in the development of M-Kesho, the first mobile banking and savings platform. The service allowed subscribers to M-Pesa, a money transfer service, to have a bank account they could manage via their mobile phone, as well as save and borrow money and access insurance services. Since its launch in 2010, other Kenyan banks have launched similar mobilebanking platforms.
“It was unchartered territory,” Gathitu says. “It was a big challenge to integrate because M-Pesa didn’t have any APIs (s programming interfaces) and so nobody knew what would have to happen to connect it with a bank.”
Gathitu was inspired by M-Kesho to start his own business.
“M-Kesho was a first of its kind. It was an amazing product. It was a lucrative product [and] it made more money than the ATMs. Which bank wouldn’t want to have that? That was our conviction that we had a product anyone would die for.”
Matthew Hoffman wanted to spread a simple, powerful message. That message has become a movement with stickers being sent all over the world. This project has grown much larger than any one person. Matthew, who originally initiated the project, now hides in the background while he points to the incredible global community that has championed and embraced this message.
Over 1 million stickers and countless public installations with the phrase “You Are Beautiful" have been placed all around the world, in places both hidden and obvious, by thousands of artists who want to spread a positive message. He’s March’s speaker at CreativeMornings/Chicago.