The new baby on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe is a company which boasts of many synergistic businesses combining into an integrated interdependent business model. In short, one business feeds into the other or others. In this article, we unbundle Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe’s key strategic pillars after the recent demerger from Econet Zimbabwe. These are finTech, InsurTech, on-demand services, e-commerce, eduTech, healthTech and agriTech.
Leading the way in terms of financial technology is the flagship mobile money service, Ecocash. Ecocash offers innovative products which include micro loans, micro savings, bulk payments, bills payments, airtime recharge, merchant services and many others. In terms of market share, Ecocash enjoys about 97% in the mobile money market in Zimbabwe. It is a recipient of the GSMA Global Mobile Award for Best Mobile Money in the World (2017) and the Best Mobile Innovation for Women in Energy Markets (2018) among other numerous awards.
There is also the digital bank, Steward Bank. Steward Bank offers micro loans, agents banking, diaspora banking and device financing. It is believed to have more customers than all the other banks combined. Their recent *236# platform where customers can open bank accounts instantly via mobile phones has grown this market share even further. Cassava Smartech also offers payment services targeted at financial and retail sectors as well as merchants. The Kwenga point of sale device quickly comes to mind here. International remittances are part of the finTech mix as well. These allow Africans in the diaspora to open mobile money wallets and used these to send money or be able to transact as if they were home.
When it comes to Insurance, Cassava Smartech is also up there among the best. Firstly, Ecosure is the largest insurance company in Zimbabwe in number policies. Ecosure is a mobile micro insurance product paying a funeral benefit upon the death of the insured life. It offers low cost funeral cover starting from as low as 50 cents per month. There is also Moovah, an auto insurance product providing cover against injury or damage in a motor vehicle accident. Again, this is mobile phone based and as such offers 24 hour claims pay out. It should be noted that Cassava Smartech is introducing Education insurance where a benefit pay out is made for the education of a child’s primary and secondary education in the event of the death of a parent or legal guardian. They are also introducing health cover which pays a guaranteed cash back benefit for each day spent in hospital in the event of hospitalisation for more than 72 hours.
The most popular on demand service so far is the Vaya Ride. It operates along the same lines as Uber where a customer can hire a taxi through the cellphone based app that links drivers to customers around their geographical area. Technites is another service under this pillar. With technites, one can hire a trained and certified technician on an on-demand basis to deal with technical issues like repairs, maintenance, plumbing or electrical issues. In the same vein, Kari Go is a technology based solution that connects a cargo and truck owner closing the supply chain gap. As if that is not enough, there is also Tasknites. This is essentially researchers who can offer retail audits, consumer experience survey, market research and general data collection to companies.
The most popular e-commerce platform from Cassava Smartech is Ownai Classifieds. This is an online marketplace for buyers and sellers which mainly focusses on small businesses especially in the informal sector. There is also Kwese TV e-store where customers can buy satellite dishes, decoders, accessories and pay subscriptions from the comfort of their homes.
Cassava Smartech offers a variety of educational products such as Ruzivo and Simba. While Simba offers online learning resources targeted at early childhood education, Ruzivo is an interactive digital learning platform targeting primary and secondary school students. In addition, Akello books provides academic and non-academic, affordable e-books. There is also Muzinda Hub which builds and supports tech enthusiasts and IT professionals in terms of skills development.
Cassava Smartech’s healthTech flagship offering is Maisha Medik. It consists of Dial a Doc where customers are connected to doctors allowing them to share and discuss health issues and get advice. It also boasts of Tele Health which provides smart internet enabled devices which take patients’ health related data like blood pressure and temperature and links it via the internet to their doctors, relatives, hospitals and any approved recipients. There is also Symptom Checker which allows individuals to perform self examinations through a mobile app. Health Tips is also available as a solution that offers reliable health advice and education for healthy living and wellness. Customers subscribe to this content.
This is an end to end solution targeting mainly smallholder farmers. They get financial services, information, trading and logistics support. Aptly named Ecofarmer, this product gives farmers access to farming and other loans, input schemes, farmer tips, weather tips, asset tracking, trading platforms and market prices among other things.
Cassava Smartech looks set to continue churning out game changing innovations across all spectrums. Leveraging on the mobile network Econet Wireless and mobile money giant Ecocash will simplify any new offerings that Cassava Smartech brings onto the market. The giant is stretching its wings.