Note: This is the first of a new feature in which I will showcase African companies doing innovative work.
Kudi (www.kudi.ai) is a Nigerian start-up that has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered messenger for mobile payments and money transfer.
“A few services have tried mobile apps but consumers are tired of installing and figuring out new apps,” Kudi co-founder Pelumi Aboluwarin told TechCrunch. “Some aren’t even that sophisticated to handle the nuances that accompany every new mobile app and will rather stick with those they already use. Messaging on the other hand is a more compelling interface as it works for people across generations. This is because everyone understood messaging right from the days of SMS and chat apps have been the most successful apps on the continent.”
The service is part of Facebook’s Free Basics which means end users are not charged data costs for using the app. Users can interact with the service on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Skype or using a browser.
It will be interesting to see if the market is ready for this innovation. We will track this project and will post updates as things develop.