MoWal­let’s R1m award will take coupons to spazas

CityPress - - News - GAR­RETH VAN NIEK­ERK gar­reth.van­niek­erk@city­

A mo­bile coupon that can be re­deemed at your lo­cal spaza shop might sound too good to be true.

But it’s ac­tu­ally about to be­come a re­al­ity, thanks to a smart, mo­bile-based ap­pli­ca­tion that is bring­ing tech­nol­ogy – that is widely used by large re­tail­ers – to spaza shops.

MoWal­let has been given R1 mil­lion seed fund­ing to ex­tend its mo­bile coupon sys­tem to spaza shops. This will al­low cus­tomers to re­deem coupons us­ing their cell­phones.

Desmond Mongue’s Tsh­wane-based tech start-up is only now be­gin­ning to dis­cover its po­ten­tial in the coun­try.

MoWal­let’s in­no­va­tive PopApp Deals make use of un­struc­tured sup­ple­men­tary ser­vice data – a mo­bile plat­form built along the lines of the *140* sys­tems used to re­deem pre­paid air­time coupons – that is al­ready in use by more than 60 mil­lion cell­phone users across South Africa.

Big re­tail chains with the buy­ing power to af­ford ex­pen­sive coupon cam­paigns in news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines have al­ready seized on the power of mo­bile coupons to get more con­sumers com­ing through their doors.

Now PopApp Deals is tak­ing the tool to spaza shops and smaller brands, which have been ex­cluded from us­ing this ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing tool.

The City of Joburg has pro­vided MoWal­let with R1 mil­lion to ex­pand the ser­vice.

“Win­ning this prize is a mile­stone that will en­able MoWal­let to cre­ate a dis­tri­bu­tion net­work across spaza shops and ru­ral ar­eas,” said Mongue.

He was speak­ing at the #Hack. Jozi Chal­lenge awards cer­e­mony at the Wits Ori­gins Cen­tre in Johannesburg this week, where he of­fi­cially re­ceived the fund­ing.

“We’re cur­rently run­ning a pi­lot in Soweto and will ex­pand on that.

“By Jan­uary next year we ex­pect to be tar­get­ing more than 1 000 spazas, de­liv­er­ing the first of­fi­cial re­tail pro­mo­tion to them,” he said.

The inau­gu­ral #Hack. Jozi Chal­lenge, de­scribed as a “boot camp” for start-ups by Zolani Matebese, head of broad­band at the City of Joburg, of­fered more than R5 mil­lion in fund­ing to fi­nal­ists.

Niel Pi­eters of Lazy Liz­zard and Percy Lawrence of MoveThisStuff were each awarded R350 000.

Lazy Liz­zard pro­duced the Teachi­na­tor, an ed­u­ca­tional app that al­lows par­ents with chil­dren in pri­mary school to track their progress at school.

MoveThisStuff is de­scribed by Lawrence as an “Uber for mov­ing things”.

It is a lo­gis­tics app that pro­vides cost-ef­fec­tive re­moval and trans­port op­tions for the pri­vate sec­tor.

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