SA’s Tuse releases new app version as it joins Founders Space accelerator

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South African startup Tuse, an Android app that tackles connectivity issues by allowing users to create wireless mesh networks, has released an updated version of its app as it prepares to join the Founders Space accelerator programme in San Francisco.

Disrupt Africa reported in August last year Tuse, founded the month before, had been selected to join the Founders Space programme, which accelerates the usual accelerator into one month, providing interactive lectures and workshops, thought leadership and mentoring sessions.

At the time Tuse was in public beta and due to join the programme in October, but the team’s arrival in San Francisco was delayed until this month, allowing it time to complete the latest version of the app.

Tuse allows people to create wireless mesh networks using their Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices. The wireless mesh allows users to send text, transfer data and make phone and video calls to peers on the created network.

Co-founder Sabelo Sibanda told Disrupt Africa a number of factors had lead to Tuse joining the Founders Space programme later than expected, but they had all been “extremely advantageous”.

He said the startup had already seen the benefits of being part of the programme.

“We have been enrolled in their online programme and are already refining our product and the internal workings of our company. We are as a result operating much more efficiently than we ever have and are making more critical decisions with greater accuracy at a much greater speed,” he said.

Sibanda said the benefit of Tuse is that it does not require traditional wireless infrastructure, making it a perfect solution in areas with little or no network coverage.

“Through the success of our previous company, Millbug, we discovered many opportunities to solve problems in the developing world. The most urgent to us, was the lack of reliable communications infrastructure. It really irked us to have good mobile devices that couldn’t be used to network with others, and sought to correct this for ourselves and others,” he 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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