South African startup Every1Mobile is now active across an additional nine markets on the continent, with clients and funders including Unilever, DFID, USAID, the UN, the World Bank, ONE, Old Mutual, Mozilla Foundation and the EU.
Launched in 2010, Every1Mobile is a mobile services and technology company specialising in international development and corporate inclusion for emerging markets.
The company delivers the mobile and online components of social development programmes across Africa, working with a host of clients, from international development agencies and NGOs, to multinational companies and foundations, to achieve measurable social change and economic inclusion.
Over the past 12 months it has worked on projects in multiple Sub-Saharan African countries, namely Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone, while new contracts will radically increase the number of target countries.
Chief executive officer (CEO) Algy Williams told Disrupt Africa the company was founded on the premise that the rapid penetration of mobile phones across the entire socio-economic spectrum in Africa, plus the dramatic growth of social media and the mobile web, offered an “unprecedented opportunity” to deliver socio-economic inclusion to the bottom of the pyramid, and to redefine how international development is delivered.
“Every1Mobile enables people to transform their lives with the mobile phones in their hands,” he said of the company, which is backed by a combination of angel investors and private equity.
Currently, working with TRANSFORM, a public-private partnership between Unilever and DFID, the company is building what is planned to be the largest digital platform for lower-income shopkeepers in Africa.
“The aim is to build a scalable and commercially sustainable digital business by growing the shopkeepers’ businesses, delivering social and financial inclusion to their customers and increasing revenues of corporate partners,” Williams said.
Currently, there are two programmes in operation.
“In Kenya, we have already built a network of 1,000 dukas and 3,000 consumers, outside Nairobi. The aim is to scale the network to 3,000 shops and 45,000 consumers by February 2019. We have also just started building a similar network of Proprietary and Patent Medicine Vendors in Lagos. All content can be delivered to basic mobile phones, as well as smartphones,” he said.
Every1Mobile, which has been identified by DFID as one of three “cutting edge” SMEs, has seen 5.3 million people visit its sites over the last 18 months, generating over 7.4 million engagements and actions, accessing 13.5 million learning opportunities, and creating 2.4 million conversations with peers and subject experts around education, financial literacy and business.
In addition, 123,000 educational quizzes have been taken, 78,000 have learned and positively changed attitude or behaviour around gender equality, and 14,800 entrepreneurs have engaged with business content and experts.
“220,000 surveys have been taken gathering needs and views of low socio-economic population groups and 45,000 young Nigerians have joined a movement advocating gender rights and ending gender violence,” said Williams.
Every1Mobile’s revenues are derived from managed services and licensing of its technology.