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MAX.ng (Metro Africa Xpress) Wants To Make It Far Easier To Move People & Materials Within African Cities

One of the challenges that businesses face in most Nigerian cities is the difficulty of moving man and materials around. The challenge is a multifaceted one that includes poor road network, illegal roadblocks, dishonest personnel, limited technology etc. There are a number of startups seeking to help solve this problem. One of them is MAX.ng. MAX is an abbreviation for Metro Africa Xpress.

Chinedu Azodoh is one of the Co-founders at MAX.ng (Metro Africa Xpress). He is also the Chief Technology Officer. The other Co-founder is Adedayo Bamiduro. Chinedu spoke with Faith History in this interview about what his organization is doing to help retail businesses in Nigeria attain their full potential.

 

Here’s Some More Details About MAX.ng’s Chief Technology Officer

Chinedu Azodoh started off his career in Technology before he later got into Logistics. He attended Loyola College and then moved on to Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO). Chinedu got a part scholarship to attend University in the United States of America two years into his programme at FUTO.

He studied for a dual degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering.  He later worked for a number of years at Barclays as a software engineer upon graduation in 2012. Chinedu then went on to attend business school at Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT) with a concentration in Finance.

He decided he was going to set-up MAX.ng (Metro Africa Xpress) after he graduated from MIT.  Today, the startup he helped set-up has grown from nine (9) riders in January 2016 to about one hundred and twenty (120) riders.

 

What Exactly Does MAX.ng (Metro Africa Xpress) Do?

The startup is a mobility company that handles both deliveries and transportation. It connects a network of professional motorcycle riders with businesses and individuals that need them. The startup focuses on intra-state deliveries and transportation. MAX.ng (Metro Africa Xpress) guarantees delivery in less than three hours within Lagos and any other city it operates in.

Users can download the MAX (Metro Africa Xpress) app in the Google Play or Apple App Store. The platform provides real-time tracking so that customers know where their riders are at any given time. The startup currently operates in only Lagos. It is planning to expand to other cities across Africa in the coming year.

 

How MAX.ng (Metro Africa Xpress) Ensures Its Riders Are Of High Quality

For the transport service, MAX.ng (Metro Africa Xpress) ensures riders undergo a psychometric test. Riders take a written test before joining the network. The platform creates a profile for riders and grades them accordingly. The motorcycles used by riders are such that meet the regulatory requirements. These bikes are typically more expensive than the regular motorcycles. MAX.ng (Metro Africa Xpress) works with financial institutions and individuals to provide credit to would-be-riders. This is to enable them get the required motorcycles. Riders can then pay back the cost of the bike over a stipulated time-frame.

 

Here’s How It Ensures Its Trips Are Safe

Customers can use the MAX.ng (Metro Africa Xpress) app to place a delivery or transport request. The cost of using a MAX.ng (Metro Africa Xpress) motorcycle to move within the city is significantly lower than the regular options. Riders are also not allowed to break speed limits. Customers also get a helmet and hairnet from the rider before their trips. Riders provide a raincoat to customer if it’s raining. The trips are insured and there is money kept aside should an accident occur. The riders follow the necessary regulations which increase the safety of their trips. They are not allowed to pick up more than one customer. This is the cause of 60% of motorcycle accidents on Lagos roads according to Chinedu Azodoh.

Do let us know if you try out MAX.ng. Don’t forget to listen to the full interview here. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

SME Social Media Tips: How to Create an Instagram Business Account

Instagram is an internet based app that allows you share photos either privately or publicly. It is available both in a mobile and desktop format. The app has become very attractive due to the number of monthly users which has grown to 700 million between 2010 when it was created and now. Creating an Instagram business account is one sure way of attracting prospective customers.

Why Instragram is Good for Business

There are many reasons why Instagram is good for business but here are the top four:

  1. Pictures can speak louder than words. Pictures can elicit emotions and get viewers to connect with your brand in a dynamic way.
  2. The app provides an opportunity to go viral through the re-posting function. As viewers share your pictures, they stand a chance of going viral thereby putting your brand in front of millions of potential customers.
  3. Internet users spend more time on Instagram than any other social media network besides Facebook according to this research by comScore.
  4. According to Shopify, visits that end with a purchase on Instagram will generate higher revenue than those of other social media platforms.

How to Switch Your Instagram Account to a Business Account

  1. If you want to convert your Instagram account to a business account, ensure you have the latest update. You also have to ensure your account is Public as private accounts cannot be switched to Business accounts.
  2. Open your app and go to your profile.
  3. Tap on the Settings icon at the top of your profile.
  4. Click on Switch to Business and select the Facebook page you want to associate your Instagram Business Account with.
  5. You will then be prompted to edit, keep or delete the contact information pulled from your Facebook page.
  6. Click on the ‘Done’ button and your account is all set up.

For more details about your Instagram Business Account, see here. If this article was helpful, then you would like Faith History’s interview with Julchit Dadi. Julchit is an Instagram expert, she spoke with Faith about best practices on the platform. You can go directly to the audio here

 

Featured image; Blogtrepreneur via Compfight CC

Five Fintech Startups In Nigeria Changing How We Live And Do Business

Over the last few years there has been a surge in the number of fintech startups in Nigeria. You most likely will be familiar with startups like Flutterwave, Paystack, PagatechQuickteller by Interswitch (if you consider it one) and a number of others. Here is a great list of a good number of the fin-tech startups in Nigeria. We have interviewed a few of these startups, this article focuses on them. Let’s dive into them, shall we?

 

Fintech Startups in Nigeria: NairaBox

NairaBox is a digital wallet app which allows you buy movie and event tickets, pay for bills, purchase airtime and donate to charity through ‘the click of a button’. Jay Chikezie, Tokunbo Adetona and Damilola Jegede founded the startup in December 2015. The goal of the startup, it appears, is to help users make payments and donations in record time. The app is available for download in the Google Play and iTunes store.

The app is social in the sense that it allows you send money to other NairaBox users or any of your phone contacts.

 

Fintech Startups in Nigeria: Aella Credit

Aella Credit is a lending platform that allows people access loans instantly. Akin Jones founded the startup after quitting his job at a financial services company. In his interview with Faith History, Mr. Jones mentioned that his team did zero marketing when they launched the startup. The simple reason is that everybody needs money. Money doesn’t need marketing, does it? However, it is worthy of note that Aella Credit rode on its relationship with certain partner companies to acquire thousands of borrowers. Smart move, huh?

The platform is integrated with the major credit bureaus in Nigeria. Its strategy is to lend money to only credit-worthy borrowers. The application is built to identify such borrowers. You can read a bit more about the startup here.

 

Fintech Startups in Nigeria: PiggyBank.ng

While the previous startup lends you money, this one helps you save it. PiggyBank is a secure online savings platform. This startup makes you save! It does this by automating the process of saving. In simple terms, it deducts directly from your bank account. It only allows you withdraw for free on certain dates however, you get penalized for withdrawals outside these dates. These features are in place to make you disciplined.

United Bank of Africa houses the savings from PiggyBank.ng.  The startup has also partnered with Metro Microfinance Bank. Listen to the interview with Faith History and read a bit more about the startup here.

 

Fintech Startups in Nigeria: Amplify Pay

Amplify Pay helps businesses collect and manage recurring payments. Segun Adeyemi relaunched the payments startup after previously calling it SlushPay. The startup’s focus is to take on the $32 billion recurring payments opportunity in Nigeria.  Segun graduated with a degree with Economics but his love for technology came out of a knack to solve problems. He met Maxwell Obi his Co-founder during the MEST ((Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology) recruitment exercise. They both got into the MEST program and the rest like they say is history.

 

Fintech Startups in Nigeria: Social Lender

Social Lender is a fintech solution that lends individuals money based on their social reputation. Users sign up on the platform with their social media account. The platform’s proprietary social algorithm will then perform an audit. After the audit, a social reputation score will be generated. Following this, users can apply for the loans they need. Loans available currently range from 1,000 Naira to 100,000 Naira. Funds will typically be made available within 10 minutes.

Bincom ICT Solutions is the mother company of the Social Lender platform. The startup recently partnered with CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) to explore how social data can predict the loan repayment behavior of low-income earners. This pilot program will make loans available to low-income earners to meet emergency needs.  Listen to Faith History’s interview with Bade Adesemowo, CTO & Co-founder – Social Lender here.

 

We are continually looking to connect startups with millions of Nigerians every week. We will continue to update the list as we interview more fintech Founders and startups. Drop us a comment or send us an email via everythingdigitalng@gmail.com.

 

Featured image; Downloadsource.fr via Compfight CC

Everything You Should Know About Facebook’s Free Basics In Nigeria

In May 2016, Facebook announced the launch of its Free Basics service in Nigeria, its largest African market. Free Basics is part of the Internet.org initiative created by Facebook. The service allows users access Facebook and other websites at no cost to them. Here’s everything you should know about the service in Nigeria:

 

  1. Free Basics Was Launched in Nigeria in Partnership with Airtel

The Free Basics service in Nigeria was launched in partnership with Airtel. What this means is that the service is only available to users on the network. The service was launched after Airtel CEO, Christian de Farai announced that it was launching the service in 17 African countries. The announcement was made in November 2015. Here were the words of the Airtel CEO:

“With Africa’s widest 3G network, Airtel has been at the forefront of the data revolution in Africa. We are cognizant of the power of internet in changing lives of communities and this partnership with Facebook will aid in bringing more people online and reduce the digital divide.”

Airtel already launched the service in Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Seychelles and Rwanda by the end of 2014. In the first phase after the 2015 announcement, it launched the service in Nigeria, DRC, Gabon and Niger.

Free Basics is also available on the 9Mobile network in Nigeria and Express Wifi (Coollink). I tested out the service on my 9Mobile network and it was quick, simple and clean.

 

Free Basics - Jobberman Founders
Jobberman Founders (Credit: www.internet.org)

 

2. Here Are The Services Available on Free Basics

Users of the platform will be able to access services like health, education, jobs, communication and local content with zero balance. Some of the websites available on the platform are listed below.

  • Goal.com
  • Jobberman
  • Ask a Doctor by Kangpe
  • PASS.NG
  • Nairaland
  • BBC News

There are a number of other websites you can access for free on the platform. You can check them out here. As at 2016, there were more than 85 of these services in all. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, excitedly announced the availability of Jobberman on the platform. Facebook will clearly continue to work with Nigerian programmers to build local content that will make the platform attractive to users.

 

3. How To Access Free Basics On Your Phone

You can only access the platform on the Airtel and 9Mobile network in Nigeria. You can also access it via the Express Wifi (Coollink).

Here are the steps to access it on the 9 Mobile network:

  • Turn on your mobile data
  • Open a browser and type in this URL; https://0.freebasics.com/
  • Alternatively you can also download the Free Basics by Facebook app in your Google Play store

Here are the steps to access it on the Airtel network:

  • Turn on your mobile data. Remember the service is free so no worries.
  • Go to the internet on your phone browser
  • Type: www.freebasics.com
  • Click “Continue” to accept the Terms. Enjoy the free services!
  • You can also access the service via the app from your Google Play store after you download it.

Here is a great article about how to get on the platform. It’s a great read if you need more details.

While there are arguments regarding the impact of the platform on net neutrality, it makes sense for many Nigerian users. There are about 34 million subscribers on the Airtel network and 19 million Nigerians offline. Many of these people will find the free platform attractive due to the high cost of data. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

[Cover Image Credit: www.internet.org]

Help Toks Asher Realize His Music Dream On The Mr. Okada Game App

In 2016, the global games industry was estimated to be worth about $99 billion with the mobile games sub-sector leading the pack with $36.9 billion. This is the opportunity the Mr. Okada game app is seeking to tap into. Mr. Okada is an Indie game which features Nigerian Music industry expert; Toks Asher as the player character.

On this episode of the show, we are featuring Toks Asher who is the Brand Ambassador for the game app. Toks Asher has been in the Nigerian music industry for 12 years and is a Manager for popular singers in the country. The game was put together by BisonPlay; a game and media development company. The company was founded by Tobias Ighofose and David Sewell who met while working in London.

 

Diving Into The Game App

In the Mr. Okada game, Toks Asher is on a mission to achieve his dream of becoming a musician. He however has one obstacle which is lack of funds. Mr. Okada does not have the money he needs to release an album. The character purchased a motorcycle from his earnings as a mechanic in order to increase his monthly income. Players then have to help him ride around Lagos without getting into trouble while he makes money to become a top selling music artist. Players have to also ensure he cover the costs of living in Lagos.

Future Plans & Player of the Month

The game has another character asides Toks and there are plans to add a character selector/creation feature soon. This feature will enable players create their own character.  A tricycle (cycle rickshaw) will also be added soon so players can choose between the two available vehicles. The game costs 300 Naira ($0.83) and is available on the ITunes & Google Play store.

BisonPlay awards a player of the month for the Mr. Okada game and the latest winner is a female United Kingdom resident. She was able to complete the three levels of the game.  The levels include Oshodi, 3rd Mainland and Lagos Island. The winner received a £50 ($66) voucher from BisonPlay.

Although the Nigerian gaming industry is still quite young, some other local gaming startups include Genii Games, Maliyo Games and ChopUp. You can download the Mr. Okada game app, explore it and possibly win the monthly prize. For more on the show with Mr. Okada – Toks Asher, you can listen here.

(Image credit: BisonPlay)

Tariere TV| Everything Digital NG

Still celebrating digital rock-stars-Faith History meets Mrs Tari Taylaur (Founder) as she tells the genuine African startup story of her mobile entertainment platform (app) ‘Tariere TV’.

Also read: Online Radio Review

Faith History and Tari Taylaur
Faith History and Tari Taylaur

The ‘Tariere’ app which means beloved in Ijaw, boasts of data friendly videos & short films for mobiles phones  (8 min each).

Did we mention that videos on Tariere TV, are also family friendly? Oh! yes, they are safe for all ages. Tariere is constantly entertaining, Download the app here.

Tari Taylaur| Tariere TV
Tari Taylaur| Tariere TV

Check out:  Oops! I just became a daddy

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User Rating: 5 ( 1 votes)

Real 360 online radio review

Abit cheeky I suppose, reviewing an online radio station/service seeing as we’re also in the audio space.. but hey.. we’re Everything Digital and yes we can basically explore and check out anything and everything as long as its .. yep you got it- Digital. So now… Real 360 radio is an online radio platform that basically started out of Calabar by a technogeek/MC/Club runner – Nonso Nwanah – just so he could make sure his touristy clubbers could continue to listen to revisit the amazing music and fun vibes they’d enjoyed while on holiday.  Now, he’s been running it for several years so its not so much a startup anymore.. more like an underground movement with a fan base the world over.

 

First things first .. I have to download the app to truly experience what this is all about. So I do just that – had a poke about on google play store and found it.. you can also download it here .  This app and the overall Real 360 radio experience is a no brainer…you want great Naija music on the go? Get it. Period.

Don’t forget to have a listen to my interview with @NomzyJ.

Overview

DESIGN - 8.6
DISPLAY - 9.4
RECEPTION /QUALITY - 8.9
PERFORMANCE - 9.4
SOFTWARE - 9.2
EASE OF USE - 8.9
SIZE - 8.3

9

Rating

User Rating: 4.28 ( 3 votes)

Gamsole: Nigerian mobile games for the world

I sure do love what I do most days..especially when I get to meet the young future Dangotes et al and remember they say birds of the same feather flock or in my case roll together. So yeah, I like to keep good company, Now Abiola Olaniran of Gamsole- is a young mobile game developer who’s been featured all over the media .. and I mean the big guys like CNN, CNBC and so on. Well I also got to chat with him thank goodness – found him to be quite down to earth and super humble!

Abiola & Faithy
Abiola & Faithy

We talked about a lot .. mainly how rich he is … alas he refused to be baited and stuck to his story (humble Prince and all that) Have a listen!

Rate this Episode

Helpful - 5.7
Entertaining - 7.6
Meh! - 5.3

6.2

User Rating: 2.45 ( 4 votes)