Safaricom’s Spark Ventures is backing mSurvey, the Nairobi-headquartered mobile research platform in what is the $1 million fund’s second and largest investment to date. Nonetheless, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. With this investment Spark joins mSurvey’s roster of investors which include Silicon Valley-based Cross Culture Ventures and Caribbean-focused AlphaAngels.
mSurvey uses SMS and mobile messaging technology to simplify access to on-demand data from the emerging world. The fresh capital will be used to drive a value-add to merchants who use Safaricom’s Lipa na M-PESA service which allows consumers to pay for goods and services through their mobile phones.
mSurvey was founded in 2012 by Kenfield Griffith who experienced first-hand the frustration of going blindly into a new market with limited or no actionable data. With his first target market being Nairobi, he pulled together a team to build a solution for the problem. Today the firm’s services allow companies to create interactive and individual relationships with their customers by providing access to real-time, direct feedback that empowers them to have conversations at scale. The company counts a number of leading brands in the telecommunications, health and academic research and business sectors including Safaricom, McKinsey, Airtel, Harvard University, Acumen and Digicel.
“This investment enhances our efforts to leverage mSurvey’s highly-sophisticated technology as a significant opportunity for growth and innovation throughout our network, while also enabling us to interact and engage with our 25 million customers in one-to-one conversations,” said Bob Collymore, Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer. “mSurvey has consistently demonstrated its value to us as clients and now as investors, we see broad potential across a variety of sectors and beyond borders.
In November 2015, Spark Ventures made its first deal with an undisclosed investment in Sendy, an on-demand package delivery startup in Kenya.