Safaricom, Kenya’s leading mobile telecom company and home of the country’s M-Pesa mobile money service, has opened an innovation centre to incubate products that will help it grow past its mobile money service.
Safaricom Alpha will have the priority of identifying spending patterns on M-Pesa and turning what’s found into additional Safaricom products, reports TechCrunch. Though operational, the innovation centre is still under construction and will eventually connect to a VC function to support investments and partnerships.
The innovation centre, located in Nairobi, will also look to help Safaricom adapt better to its customer’s needs. The mobile telecom company is responsible for 73 per cent of all of Kenya’s mobile subscribers, while M-Pesa is used by 27m customers across a network of 136,000 agents.
Safaricom has already added plenty of other products to its collection, either developed in-house or through partnerships. Products include digital TV, a solar-powered lighting kit, a bill pay service, and a ride-hailing app to rival Uber Kenya. Furthermore, the company is planning to launch a eCommerce platform in the coming months.
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