6 Trends for Investment, Technology & Innovation in Kenya for 2011

Since meeting Matt Buckland in Cape Town earlier this year just before he launched Memeburn, to see it rise up to become an award-winning site focused on startups, technology and innovation in emerging economies has been great and to have played some part in that has been a privilege.

For my last piece, I had the pleasure of contributing my 6 Predictions for Investment, Technology & Innovation in Kenya for 2011 that include:

Classifieds: Find out why giants like Google Africa, and South African internet giants  MIH Internet and The bidorbuy Group have their eyes set on Kenya in the classifieds market. Can they succeed where Craigslist and others have failed?

Investment: With 48-hour bootcamps where people go from ideas to businesses for Ksh. 1,000,000 ($12,500), find out why Mozilla’s own Global Community Manager, William Quiviger, said Nairobi deserves to be crowned Africa’s ICT Innovation hub. Foreign investment has taken notice of Nairobi and is acting fast.

Groupon: The successful group buying startup’s business model is being replicated by over 4 players already in Kenya. Each with a shot at success, who’ll get to Kenyans online where it counts, their wallets?

Innovation: Why Nairobi’s iHub is the centre for Kenya’s next big internet sensation.

Mobile Money: The equivalent of over 20% of Kenya’s GDP is transacted through Safaricom’s Mobile Money Service M-Pesa. Who’s the competition. How are they responding and what’s there to look out for in the new year?

Mobile Social Networks: “2g0” – South African social network was the most Googled word in 2010 for Kenya. More than The FIFA World Cup. With instant messaging network MXit over 40 Million users strong worldwide and in Kenya, what are they doing to tap into this lucrative mobile segment?

For these questions and more, see the Memeburn article here.

Note, while writing this post, I’ve noted an unabridged version of the Memeburn article needs to go up to answer these and some 2011 questions. Expect it as a follow up to this post.

Which brings me to my last question, what are you looking forward to in 2011?

Image by Mutua Matheka (@Truthslinger)
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  • http://www.douglascrets.com Douglas Crets

    I like what you were saying about Nairobi being the ICT hub for developing Africa. Are the Groupon startups just clones, or are there unique values there that can’t be duplicated elsewhere? 

    • http://www.mark.co.ke/ Mark Kaigwa

      The clones for now aren’t adding any value I would say. They are using the same model from abroad and are yet to bring value to the system and nuances behind the Kenyan money ecosystem like Saccos and saving culture. The current players include: 

      Mocality Deals – deals.mocality.co.ke
      Rupu – rupu.co.ke
      Zetu – zetu.co.ke

      And that’s about it! The one who will disrupt or win out eventually is the product that successfully taps beyond those with access to internet and mobile web but have reasonable levels of disposable income.