MoWallet’s R1m award will take coupons to spazas
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.