Shengspeare: Shakespeare in Sheng.

In the old age black was not counted fair, Or if it were, it bore not beauty’s name; But now is black beauty’s successive heir Zamo kuwa dark skin haikuwa usupuu, hata ka kulikuwa na mablack beauty hatukutambua; Lakini siku hizi kushika rangi ni urembo mtupu From Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Sheng translation mine) Shakespeare Week came …

Safaricom’s best chance to take on Uber lies in an old tool – the SIM Card – not an app.

As the curtain drew on the 19th century, the first motor vehicles took to the street. Human history had been altered forever. On 1st July 1991 another most important develoment in human history happened. Then Finnish prime minister Harri Holkeri placed the first GSM call to the Mayor of the city of Tampere, Kaarina Suonio. Sixteen …

Old bankers don’t steal, they just borrow without security : Lessons from Chase Bank on how FinTech alone can’t save a bank.

Chase Bank (no relation to its American namesake) was placed under receivership last week. The bank often touted itself as a key leader in FinTech and banking innovation in Kenya. When it shut its doors last week 55,000 account holders – mostly tech savvy, upwardly mobile youth – were left stranded.  KES 92 Billion (USD …

Branch raises USD 9.6M from Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla and Formation 8 in Series A

Mobile-based financial services company Branch announced Thursday last week it had raised a Series A equity funding round of USD 9.6 million (KES 1B), as it positions itself for further growth and expansion into new markets. The funding will allow for the expansion of the startup’s  operations, hiring talent in Kenya as well as expansion …

As seen in the Daily Nation

I am not even sure how I hadn’t gotten round to posting this on my blog, but the Daily Nation, Kenya’s leading daily newspaper ran a story on the weekend of the GES (US President Barack Obama visited the country to open the summit) on my startup Teke Teke. Flo, my co-founder did a stellar …

Liquid Telecom Kenya announces move into retail Fibre Market with Hai Waya brand: Firm to connect 500 homes in Mlolongo, 1000 in Runda to its FTTH network

At a press conference to outline its last mile strategy for the year 2016, local fibre operator  Liquid Telecom Kenya has announced that it is moving into the retail Fibre To The Home (FTTH) market in Kenya under its Hai ISP brand. Liquid Telecom Kenya says the service will formally launch in March 2016. In …

BitPesa hosting World Cup Watching Party, beta launch of service

Local Bitcoin remittances startup BitPesa will be hosting a World Cup Watching Party at Brew Bistro on Ngong Road this evening. The event will also see the beta launch of BitPesa’s service. BitPesa will provide bitings and bitcoins to the first 50 people to show up.

Equity announces MVNO roll out plans, bank to issue 8.7 million free SIM cards

Local daily, The Nation, reports on it’s news website today that Equity Bank will be launching it’s MVNO network in July of this year. The bank will also be giving out 8.7 million free SIM cards. The report on the website also quotes the bank’s C.E.O Dr. James Mwangi setting pricing for Equity’s mobile money transfer …

Government Directive : No more cash on matts

This year promises to be an interesting one for the local payments industry. The government has already indicated that it will issue a new policy directive to ban the use of currency notes and coin in public transport starting July 1st, 2014. The government has, in my view, two clear incentives to push through with …

How not to sign up for a Bitcoin wallet service

1. Get on Kipochi.com . 2. Fill in sign up form. Type in personal details (half the point of BTC is anonymity, but you’ll live with this since it is ‘required in some jurisdictions’, including one you’re in, and you really need a Bitcoin wallet service). Give personal email and mobile phone number. (Form’s send …