Moses Korir, Felix Cheruiyot
In the mid-1990s, as the use of mobile phones started its rapid spread in much of the developed world, few thought of Africa as a potential market. Now, with more than 400 million subscribers, its market is larger than North America's. Africa took the lead in the global shift from fixed to mobile telephones, notes a report by the UN International Telecommunications Union.* Rarely has anyone adopted mobile phones faster and with greater innovation. More and more Africans are using mobile technologies to access social media tools on the internet more and more Africans are using mobile technologies to access social media tools on the Internet. A similar story now seems again to be unfolding. Africans are coupling their already extensive use of cell phones with a more recent and massive interest in social media — Internet-based tools and platforms that allow people to interact with each other much more than in the past. In the process, Africans are leading what may be the next global trend: a major shift to mobile Internet use, with social media as its main drivers. TalkLift, formerly Biashara Bot, is a social selling platform for small and medium-sized businesses that focuses on optimising leads collection and conversion at every touch point. The startup’s goal is to help small and medium-sized businesses sell on social media in a professional way and increase revenue. To date, they have helped more than fifty businesses take over one thousand orders and aid in successful deliveries to their customers. It was also among the first startups that Leapfrog Ventures invested in from their $4.5 million Africa focused fund.