Microsoft Showcases Tech Start-Ups With Social Impact
Microsoft, through its 4Afrika initiative, is empowering start-ups that are proffering technology solutions that improve lives and drive Africa’s digital transformation. Some of these start-ups are MAX, Flutterwave and Riby, which provide solutions to facilitate mobility, online payment and savings in Nigeria, respectively. The achievements of the three start-ups since they began operations were showcased at a fireside chat in Lagos. The Microsoft 4Afrika, launched in 2013, supports start-ups in their digital transformation journeys through programmes like MySkills4Afrika and Interns4Afrika.
The Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder at MAX, Chinedu Azodoh, described the enterprise as a platform connecting businesses and consumers to safe motorcycle taxis on-demand in areas known for traffic congestion in Lagos. Through the business, he said 500 partner-riders had been trained, employed and financially included into the banking system. According to him, the platform ensures that riders adhere to safety measures, saying accessibility and affordability are some of the values they add to customers.
“We provide bikes that can reach anywhere in the city. We document a credit history and create safety scores for our partner-riders,” he said. The Chief Executive Officer of Riby, Salami Abolore, described Riby as a fintech company providing financial management services to cooperatives and helping the groups and their individual members to save, borrow and invest. According to him, the goal of the business is to see everyone using Riby platform to achieve a sustainable business and personal finance growth.
“Cooperatives are not recognised because they are not financially included. The unique selling proposition is to digitise the process, validate the cooperatives and issue ATM cards to members,” Abolore added. According to the Vice-President, Product Engineering, Flutterwave Inc, Azeez Oluwafemi, the company provides the infrastructure that facilitates online payment across African and other continents and has achieved about 30 million transactions. He said the Flutterwave team benefited from Microsoft cloud services, sales training and internship programme, which had accelerated their operations. “We created a platform to connect people to the rest of the world and facilitate remittances at affordable rates,” he added.