Kenya-based big data startup String Analytics is running two pilots of its platform in the credit-scoring space at home as it prepares to expand its operations to Nigeria.
Formed in Kenya in 2019 by Mugo Ngatia and Wanyeki Muigua, String Analytics provides a platform for organisations to better understand their data, and incorporates tools for them to interact directly with their customers via SMS or USSD in order to both understand and drive behaviour.
The startup offers big data analytics “as-a-service”, providing solutions for data management and visualisation, as well as predictive analytics. Its communications engine can be used to interact with customers to deliver knowledge-based content, provide product education or conduct market-based surveys, while its dedicated research team can conduct on-ground primary data collection.
“Our objective approach goes beyond full reliance on quantitative methods but rather formulates strategies for companies to understand their data better by also incorporating qualitative insight from direct responses from the market. This feedback is then used to drive our quantitative models for better results,” Ngatia told Disrupt Africa.
Just over a year into its operations, String Analytics has two active clients in Kenya – one of which is a credit bureau and the other a payments platform. Both of these partnerships are at the proof of concept (PoC) stage, but Ngatia said the company sees wide demand across the continent for services like this.
“Most companies in Sub Saharan Africa are generating multitudes of data but lack the capacity, knowledge and the skill-set that will enable them to generate insight that can help drive their business further,” he said.
“Most organisations also have a gap in directly interacting with their consumers for direct feedback that is relevant for product growth. Our solution, through the user engagement platform, creates this avenue for a feedback loop to the business.”
Self-funded, and only piloting in Kenya, String is nonetheless working on expansion to the rest of Africa. Ngatia said it was in negotiations with a leading bank in Nigeria, and was also in the process of signing an agreement with a Nigerian entity for business development opportunities in Nigeria and Ghana. Though pre-revenue, the startup plans to monetise through consulting and licensing fees.