MELD has seen explosive engagement over the last year with its ISPO launch through to its vision of banking the 2 billion individuals currently unbanked and the plethora of services it aims to offer them. Navigating such a technically complex and political landscape however brings about its challenges. To help with this, MELD has been cultivating strategic partners in order to facilitate their vision and unify the ecosystem.
Here I break down some of these incredibly exciting partnerships.
The magnitude and scope of Tingo gets me incredibly excited to say the least and here I explore a little about what Tingo is all about and the impact of the Tingo x MELD partnership.
MELD and Tingo share a simple but very powerful vision…To bring inclusion and financial freedom to people.
Tingo International Holdings (TIH), is an ethical investment company dedicated to meeting the needs of individual consumers and businesses, by delivering financial technology through telecommunications and agri-tech services in Africa. TIH recently acquired Tingo Mobile PLC, Nigeria’s leading technology, device and service platform. Through their digital platform Nwassa, Tingo aims to empower local farmers through commerce, and bring economic growth and prosperity to the nation in compliance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Launched in 2001, the growth of Tingo Mobile PLC has been phenomenal with over 30 million mobile phones having been distributed to African farmers and now processing over 8 million daily transactions.
Some key areas Tingo aims to address for the African continent in compliance with SDG are:
- Food Security
- Poverty Alleviation
- Zero Hunger
- Female Entrepreneurship,
- Financial Inclusion
Tingo’s mission & vision statement
“We are on a mission to build an Africa that feeds herself and the rest of the world. To build a secure and sustainable digital agric ecosystem that serves the African farmer and agri-business, and ensure a seamless delivery of agro-produce to the last mile”.
Tingo operates in 18 countries across Africa and has several business drivers that propel their model:
- Mobile Phone Leasing: With 30 million mobile handsets being leased since 2014, Tingo continues to replace the devices of its customers every three years. Devices are affordable allowing users to spread the costs over 36 months.
- Mobile Voice and Data Service: Tingo provides its customers with voice and data services.
- Tingo Pay: A smart, cashless and convenient payment solution that enables customers to make and receive payments, pay bills and buy airtime.
- Nwassa Platform: Tingo's service platform, Nwassa, supports Nigeria's agricultural customers with market access. Nwassa also provides a one-stop-shop solution, enabling the 10 million subscribers to manage everything on their phones, from airtime top-ups, bill payments, and insurance services, to microfinance and logistic business support from seed to market.
Customers are provided with access to agricultural markets for their crops with over 8 million transactions being processed daily. Farmers are supported with packaging, storage, and cargo logistics.
In addition, Tingo provides its customers with digital wallet services, enabling customers to send and receive domestic payments and monitor cash flow in real time.
- Finance and Insurance: Credit is offered to help farmers grow their business as well as an array of insurance products to meet the demands of their customers.
Tingo Mobile is set to acquire Africa's leading international electronics contract manufacturer Yekani Manufacturing, located in South Africa. The acquisition will see the production of new and replacement devices for existing Tingo customers and offer the capability to push and launch further devices to other markets beyond Africa.
Revenue for Tingo Mobile PLC comes through many ports. These include daily transaction fees on their NWASSA platform, corporate clients who use their numbering plan and internet leased lines, credit and Insurance products, phone contracts and their cross airtime sales for customers who have a second phone on another network.
As farmers in Nigeria make up 66% of the workforce, it makes sense that by targeting and supporting the country's core powerhouse, the fastest potential route to economic growth can be realized.
In the words of Chris Cleverly, President of Tingo:
“It is vitally important, as Africa’s largest agri-fintech company directed at providing services for the agricultural community and working to ensure food security across the continent, that we work with technologies such as MELD and Cardano that are looking to shift the present paradigm in favor of banking for all and inclusive finance. DeFi, stable tokens and NFTs will emancipate Africa as an economic powerhouse – we will work with regulators to ensure this is done safely and securely. Change is inevitable and Nigeria is leading this change.”
A recent three-way partnership between Tingo, Cudos and Cornucopias aims to create additional revenue for Tingo’s customers. Cudos is a cloud and blockchain solution utilizing spare computing power to create a decentralized and sustainably connected world. Cornucopias is a blockchain-based Build-To-Earn game where players own characters, land and NFTs built on the Cardano blockchain. With Global gaming revenue peaking at $174 billion in 2020, Tingo aims to rival Axie Infinity, who grew 19,000% to $7.5 billion market cap in under 12 months. These partnerships reinforce and broaden the ecosystem's scope giving people in Nigeria a chance to earn passive income by utilizing their smartphone’s spare computing capacity.
These collaborations complement and strengthen the MELD x Tingo partnership. Imagine millions of users earning passive income on their phones and developing a confident relationship with Cardano through interactions on the blockchain. Their next port of call is finance, and MELD has uniquely positioned itself to facilitate the financial needs of these 10 million users, and growing, who will be confident using applications on the Cardano blockchain and subsequently all the services that MELD offers.
From an array of decentralized flexible loans to DeFi opportunities involving the eNaira, Nigeria’s Digital Currency, this partnership is a recipe for monumental growth with high ethical standards and sets to expand across other African nations in the not-too-distant future.
Some further Tingo partnerships announced include:
- ITScope, an IT solution company who are creating a new portal to facilitate the integration of businesses of all sizes to communicate and build partners, clients and customers.
- Datavault, a cloud based service for transforming the way data is collected and monetised. The company enables you to maximize the value of the data you already own in an automated way that is customisable.
- VISA, no introductions needed for this digital payment heavyweight. The partnership agreement will aid Tingo’s ambitious expansion plans across Africa helping drive greater adoption and increase financial services offered.
The growth for Tingo over the years has seen it go from strength to strength. Africa is an incredible nation, culturally diverse and vast. Its people have a hunger to drive themselves out of poverty and bring themselves prosperity. It is these hard working people, pushing at the doors for economic freedom, who are key in unleashing the potential for the nation in becoming an economic superpower over the coming years. The gateway to this liberation lies with pioneering enablers such as Tingo and MELD.
The opinions shared within this article are those solely of the MELD Ambassador. Note that the content within should not be considered financial, legal, or tax advice. Neither the author nor MELD Labs PTE Ltd. are financial, legal or tax advisors. None of this content should be used to make any form of financial, tax, or legal decisions. Do your own research and consult professionals as needed for official policies, restrictions, and requirements in your jurisdiction.
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