The penetration of mobile web in Africa is on the rise, and we predict that it will be as powerful as the mobile phone itself. Along with the increased presence of mobile web, we’re seeing an ecosystem growing around it. This includes everyone from Vodacom and IBM to small startups at m:lab in Nairobi. This week, we’ll look at recent highlights that bring these players together, both big and small, to facilitate the growth of … read more

This week, we read about growing entrepreneurial opportunities in our target investment markets: India, Africa, and Latin America. The movement of human and financial capital in (and out) of emerging markets is increasing steadily thanks to changing demographics and blossoming economies. This presents exciting opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs alike.… read more

At the start of the New Year, many reports predicting tech trends for 2012 in Africa pointed to the increased adoption of smartphones. We agree — that is where the market is headed – but it’s important to remember that a high penetration of smartphones is still quite a few years away. Currently, most Africans own a basic Nokia “dumb” phone. This week, we looked at articles reporting on the adoption of smartphones and … read more

The idea that renewable energy can increasingly meet the energy requirements of emerging markets at grid-parity is a regular topic of discussion. Both the public sector and the private sectors are searching for ways to meet global energy requirements while decreasing dependence on unsustainable source of energy. Instead of the global oil markets, the usual suspects, now the radical advances in solar cell efficiency, declining costs of raw materials, and large-scale strategic initiatives from both … read more

2012 is going to be a big year for mobile money and financial inclusion. Below we highlight a few of the stories describing the increased adoption of mobile money (beyond Kenya) and the continued growth of financial inclusion and other benefits offered through mobile phones.

A Mobile Money Wish List for 2012” by Will Mutua on Afrinnovator
As a follow up to Mbwana Alliy’s prediction that increased mobile money services in Africa … read more

It’s the last week of the year, and we are surrounded by reflections on 2011 and resolutions for 2012. Here at Invested Development we have both. Our main ambitions for 2012 are to open our third office in India and test some innovative investment structures tailored especially for the techies in Nairobi. While we are excited about the prospects in India, Africa has made the biggest leaps and grabbed the headlines this year, notably from … read more
This week, we took a look at technology stories that will improve the African lifestyle.

Well done to Ushahidi on raising a $1.9 million round from Omidyar Network. However, as we know, not every Kenyan techie success story is carried with the same glory and ease demonstrated by M-PESA.  Ushahidi’s experience is a great example of the … read more
Editor’s Note: This is the last post in Sean Smith’s series from the Nairobi office. Catch up on anything you missed by clicking the links below. 

The Kenyan Context 

These groups of Rich People and Nerds are slowly beginning to identify each other.  They are slowly feeling each other out and gaining a better understanding read more

In honor of our upcoming event, Clean Tech That Matters, it’s only appropriate to report on articles discussing clean tech and alternative energy opportunities in emerging markets. Anytime you can get a group of ambitious techies, entrepreneurs, and investors in the same room, seeking extraordinary innovations in a time of favorable policy developments and continued market growth, it’s a time for celebration. If you like what you’re hearing, come find out more at Greentown read more

Editor’s Note: This post is the second installment in Sean Smith’s series on Rich People, Nerds, and the Kenyan Context. Click here if you missed Part 1.

The Rich People

The most important kind of Rich Person a startup hub can have is successful technology entrepreneurs that are looking to support new startups.  Often, this is subject to a chicken and egg dilemma. Without support, introductions, and investment from successful industry veterans it is a … read more

Editor’s Note: This is the first post in a series from Sean Smith, who recently moved to Nairobi, Kenya to open Invested Development’s East African office. 

Having recently moved to Kenya to establish ID’s first international office, I am often asked by friends, family, and colleagues a simple question, “Why Nairobi?” My answer is often just as simple, “Because Nairobi is positioning itself to become the Silicon Valley of Africa.”  What isn’t so simple … read more
Every week, we read about the subtle signs of development in Africa. Here is the round up from this week, featuring everything from renewable energy to mobile money.

Looking to Africa for innovation” by Nikki and Rob Wilson on The Guardian
The common school of thought believes that Africa should borrow from Western ways of thinking to promote development. On the contrary, there are many social systems and informal economies in place that read more

Adding 55M

Ethiopia is infamously lagging behind the African standard of mobile penetration rates. Currently, mobile penetration in Africa is around 50% and climbing, but Ethiopia’s mobile penetration is around 12%. The Government of Ethiopia, who controls the telecommunications industry in the country, has set some ambitious goals for the next five years to increase mobile penetration rates. While there are many benefits that come along with a mobile phone in the hands of the … read more

This week, we’re stepping back and looking at the explosive developments in the ICT industry and their effects in emerging markets.  In case you missed it, check out our ongoing series on how mobile transactions systems can fight poverty, Part 1 and Part 2.
Image Courtesy of SlimTrader
Ethio Telecom launches credit transfer service” Press Release from Ethio Telecom
Ethiopia is infamous for its lagging mobile penetration rates. The Government-led telecom released ambitious … read more

Developing countries tend to have high export rates of their most valuable resource:  people. However, many changes on the ground in Africa are encouraging entrepreneurs to stay and create businesses and better lives for themselves at home. A successful entrepreneur in the developing world is no longer a rarity. In fact, entrepreneurs are finding great success in Africa in ways that also have the potential to have a significant impact.

In response to the slow but steady increases in smartphone adoption and data usage in Africa, developers are releasing mobile applications to increase interoperability in the mobile money industry. This week, we read about new mobile apps appearing in emerging markets that increase access to financial services. We also read about mobile Internet access throughout Africa that allows for the adoption of such services. Africa is leveraging mobile technology for social change.

Kenya: Tech read more

Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the Revolution via Wikimedia Commons

After the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, a man named his daughter “Facebook” in honor of the site’s mobile app and the role it played. On Twitter, #jan25 was trending for weeks, as Egyptians tweeted from their phones to report on the protests. Despite the government’s best efforts to cut off communications, protesters were able to organize through mobile technology. It’s clear that few places in the world … read more