Two Kenyan companies have joined forces.
According to TechCrunch, Ajua — a Kenya-based consumer experience platform — has announced its acquisition of WayaWaya, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) messaging and payments company also based in Kenya.
The outlet further reports that Ajua decided to acquire WayaWaya because the latter company has access to proprietary bot technology called Janja. The payment bots system — whose clientele includes such African-based companies as Airtel, Ezee Money, Housing Finance Company of Kenya (HF Group) — allows for “borderless banking” across platforms and social media apps (including Facebook and WhatsApp), making it easier to create a unified pan-African payment system that accounts for currency differences.
As part of this newfound acquisition, Teddy Ogalo — the WayaWaya founder — will join Ajua as VP of Product APIs and Integrations.
The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. However, Crunchbase speculated that Ajua paid WayaWaya more than 10-times their fundraising ask. WayaWaya’s total funds raised was $75,000.
“There’s a lot of commerce happening on the continent and Ajua wants companies to move from transaction numbers to the customers behind such transaction,” said Kenfield Griffith, Ajua’s founder, to TechCrunch. “Imagine if we knew what drove consumer habits for businesses. I mean, that’s a huge exponential curve for African businesses. We’ve taken what makes enterprise customers successful, and we’re capturing it in a simple format so SMEs can have the same tools.”
Ajua’s acquisition of WayaWaya comes hot on the heels of the announcement that they’d partnered with MTN Nigeria to launch a customer management product for Nigerian businesses. While the company says that this partnership is exclusively for MTN Nigeria users, they’re hoping that their platform becomes more universally accepted across the continent as additional partnerships and acquisitions are formed.
The company got its start as mSurvey, which was founded by Griffith in 2012. The company’s partners include Coca-Cola, FBNQuest, GoodLife Pharmacy, Java House, Safaricom, Standard Chartered and Total.