Tanzanian startup Guumzo launches voice sharing app

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Tanzanian startup Guumzo has launched its voice sharing app publicly after a period of beta testing, and is now seeking funding in order to expand to Kenya and Rwanda over the course of next year.

Disrupt Africa reported in July the Guumzo app – which allows account holders to record two-minute voice messages and share them with their followers – was undergoing beta testing.

The startup has had a busy year, pitching at Slush, PIVOT East and Seedstars World, and has now fully launched its app, with a number of additional features. The Guumzo team plans to allow users with premium accounts to share longer content such as music or recorded news articles, with the startup taking a commission on content sold through the app.

Additional features added for the full launch, co-founder Ng’winula Kingamkono told Disrupt Africa, include the ability to attach images to a sound post, a new media player and recorder for easy interaction, and the ability to receive follow suggestions according to the selected interests.

“We are set to allow our users to sell their voices and audio files in April 2016, and now we have started initial talks with local artists in Tanzania,” said Kingamkono.

“Users will pay using our in-house payment system that converts mobile money to digital currency. We’ve licensed our payment platform to Orijino Komedi, who will be launching their video streaming services in early 2016, and it is open for developers to use APIs on their platform.”

Guumzo raised seed funding from an unlikely angel investor in the shape of last year’s Big Brother Africa winner Idris Sultan, but is now seeking further investment to allow it to launch in Kenya and Rwanda in the second half of next year.

“Launching Guumzo app at a world standard yet targeting our local community is such a good feeling,” Kingamkono said.

“People will love Guumzo because it isn’t just another social network, it is a business platform where our users can decide to add their voices, sell their content and make money out of it easily, securely and safely without worrying about piracy.”

The startup hopes to acquire 200,000 users in Tanzania by May next year.

“We want to be strong in Tanzania before expanding, and we want to integrate other languages on our platform too,” Kingamkono said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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