Kenyan Startup Goes Global
December 8, 2012 Editor 0
By Sam Wakoba
Kenya’s Sematime is going global just months after launching its public beta version August 10.
According to Boniface Githinji the CEO Tusquee Systems, the firm that developed the software, Sematime has already signed up over 1000 users and due to increasing requests from people across the globe, he says it the right time to take the service to them.
Githinji said,”Sematime has only been available to users within Kenya but we have been getting requests from people as far as the US. We therefore have gone global and at just US 0.04 per text.”
Therefore users in Kenya can send bulk SMS to people living outside the country and users from other parts of the world can also sign up and beginning bulk text messaging simply.
According to Githinji, all Sematime features and services enjoyed by its clients in Kenya will also be available to its international users immediately.
Sematime offers SMS branding, Sematime for Schools, Sematime Ebills services. The payments methods have also been updated with a new Credit card payments processing via Paypal and an instant-on automated SMS branding.
Sematime was developed by Tusqee Systems which developed School SMS service to enable parents and teachers track their kid’s or students class performance, events and school fees payments from the mobile phone. Sematime grew out of the idea that companies could also use the service to contact their clients.
Sematime is not just a bulk SMS service but an online service also helping firms send bills and invoices via SMS. The firm also does SMS branding,allows sending of long SMS messages with 400 characters, allows firms or individuals to easily add contacts from Excel files and can also be used by multiple account users.
According to Githinji, ”The SMS service will make it easy for users to communicate or send bills and invoices via SMS and also take up free SMS branding to send text messages that bear their company name.”
SMS’s Sent Globally
Sematime SMS is not outlived. Globally SMS traffic this year passed 8.5 trillion according to Portio Research and expected to grow to 9 trillion per year in the next few years. In five years time, Portio forecasts over 40 trillion SMS carried.
According to CNN, in 2013 SMS messaging industry will be worth $150 billion-a-year with mobile carriers charging a set monthly fees for unlimited texting as much as 20 cents per text from about 0.03 cents per text message now.
Githinji says SMS is still in use and Sematime is not going to run out of business. In the US SMS usage is still strong with 6 billion text messages send daily and stands out as the biggest mobile tool and over 80 percent of the US population own mobile phones.
Sematime will also be a hit in Africa.
According to Informa Telecoms, the number of mobile subscriptions in Africa is expected to reach one billion in 2015. Informa says that mobile subscriptions in Africa will hit over 750 million by year end. Sematime might grab some of these as its clients, if its product proves useful however the market is not free range.
WhatsApp, a free cross-platform mobile messaging app which hit over 1 billion users mark earlier is at the moment looking for translators in a move to spread its user base. WhatsApp Messenger also runs on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia.
In May this year, 2go,a free mobile messenger hit 20 million users and continues to grow. Facebook Messenger is also strongly taking up the space.
Sematime is also awaiting a 2013 Silicon Valley pitch together with four other regional winners for the Startup World’s Grand Finale grand finale and is opening up its services to the world before its Silicon Valley Pitch.
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