During the Africa Tech Summit last February in Kigali (Rwanda), a few African brands stood out for their innovative positioning and their original business model. Discover some of these “digital nuggets” every week.
By Jacques Rombi
The idea is simple and is based on an original model implemented by the Kenyan Christian Doyen, co-founder of the BRCK * system which provides free educational and fun content to young Africans.
In exchange, they receive points for connecting to the web for free. “Buying connection for young Africans is often in competition with buying PPN (basic necessities). In addition, when they connect it is often to access social media platforms …” This observation, Christian innovates by offering them to connect for free and in a productive way because, at the other end of the chain, major brands have played along. Giants like Facebook, Unilever, Microsoft or Carrefour (there are about fifty of them to date) who did not know how to reach these young people, chose to provide content to the BRCK platform. Easily accessible content free of charge so that these young people have access to fun and educational applications. It is not a question of providing free access to connect anywhere but to the sites provided by the giants, BRCK customers. Thus, users (who are thus touched and sensitized by brands) are then entitled to points (Moja Points) for free connection time to the web.
Christian and his teams have invested no less than US $10 million through venture capital Venture Capital to provide 2,700 access points in Kenya and Rwanda. The impact is multiple : users can educate themselves, play and have access to the web for free; the majors recover a precious database (of course you have to register to take advantage of the platform) and BRCK is growing rapidly.
Already 1.9 million users have been identified, including 800,000 unique monthly visitors. A revolution which does not yet speak its name but which is beginning to spread on the continent and elsewhere since South America is targeted with a pilot project already underway in Mexico. To be continued !
* The word BRCK is not an acronym, it is a full name. There is therefore no meaning to the 4 letters. The company name is derived from “BRICK” (a “brick”), only without the letter “i”