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The Flip

The Flip is an editorial-style podcast exploring contextually relevant insights from entrepreneurs and investors changing the status quo in Africa. The name The Flip comes from the opportunity to flip the script – question some of the pervasive narratives on entrepreneurship, challenge the ubiquity of Silicon Valley thought leadership, and champion the entrepreneurs building a future inspired by Africa. Produced and hosted by Johannesburg-based entrepreneur and American expat Justin Norman. Sayo Folawiyo is the executive producer and b-mic.

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Middlemen as a Service - A Retrospective with Sayo Folawiyo and Justin Norman

Each episode during our narrative episodes, The Flip's b-mic, Sayo Folawiyo, and founder, Justin Norman, sit down for a retrospective conversation on the topic explored in that episode. However, our current series of conversational episodes explored one theme across the series - digitizing analog and fragmented industries - we opted to have one retrospective conversation that reflects on the entirety of our 10 episode series.In this episode, Sayo and Justin talk about people-centric tech startups, market segmentation, interoperability, specialization, and they may have even invested a new as-a-service category. 3:54 - After a full season of episodes exploring those digitizing analog and fragmented industries, what did we learn?5:17 - People heavy, high-touch businesses are a feature, especially in African markets.10:10 - On segmenting the informal sector.11:53 - A discussion on interoperability and the role of the middlemen.15:35 - Introducing Middlemen as a Service.16:04 - On specialization.This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by MFS Africa. MFS Africa’s competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we’ll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.Follow The Flip on social media @theflipafrica.

20mins

18 Mar 2021

Rank #1

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Accessible and Affordable EdTech with Eneza Education's Wambura Kimunyu

 In this episode, we talk edtech with Wambura Kimunyu, the Group CEO of Eneza Education.Throughout the series of episodes, we’re exploring the entrepreneurs in start-ups digitizing informal and fragmented industries on the continent. And for Eneza Education to remain affordable and accessible, it means distributing text-based content to basic mobile phones via SMS, and acquiring customers via radio advertising. We talk to Wambura about building a product for low-income students - 70% of whom live in rural areas,  the content development and distribution process,  balancing available technologies with the needs of their customers, how to price for low-income consumers, and more.4:59 - First question, who are the customers that Eneza Education is serving?6:08 - A deep dive into Eneza Education's products - the SMS-based Shipavu291 and Ask-A-Teacher.12:20 - On the content development process and launching in a new country.14:29 - On expansion - what role do development agencies and foundations play here? 16:22 - Eneza Education's pricing strategy.20:46 - How is the company measuring impact, and what of impact are they creating? 22:26 - How does Eneza Education build their product with restraint? Why don't they have a mobile app? This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by MFS Africa. MFS Africa's competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we'll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.Follow The Flip on social media @theflipafrica.

25mins

11 Mar 2021

Rank #2

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Mass-Market Media with StarNews Mobile's Guy Kamgaing

In this episode, we explore entertainment for mass-market consumers in Africa with Guy Kamgaing, the Founder and CEO of StarNews Mobile.Throughout the series of episodes, we're exploring the entrepreneurs in start-ups digitizing informal and fragmented industries on the continent. And in the media space, that means building a product fit for the realities of mass-market consumers. In a world of abundant free content on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and other "data guzzling" platforms, StarNews is building a business selling a la carte microcontent bundled with telco data, and they're selling it to millions of African consumers, while simultaneously helping creators make money off of their content, as well. 04:05 - First question, what is StarNews' background story?06:52 - A deeper dive into the product, from both the content development and distribution perspectives.10:30 - Why would a consumer pay for content when so much free content is readily available elsewhere?15:47 - A discussion on StarNews' growth, and expansion from Côte d'Ivoire, across Francophone African countries, to South Africa.18:05 - On partnering with telcos.20:29 - How are the streaming wars between Netflix and Disney influencing strategy, and why is StarNews investing in content development?This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by MFS Africa. MFS Africa's competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we'll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.Follow The Flip on social media @theflipafrica.

27mins

4 Mar 2021

Rank #3

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The Case for Crypto with Bundle's Yele Bademosi

In this episode, we talk about cryptocurrency with the Co-Founder and CEO of Bundle, and the Founding Partner of Microtraction, Yele Bademosi. Beyond trading and price volatility, what is it about crypto that excites Yele and so many others on the continent?Throughout the series of episodes, we're exploring the entrepreneurs in start-ups digitizing informal and fragmented industries on the continent. And despite the technological underpinnings of cryptocurrency as a whole, many of the buying and selling processes and use cases of crypto today are still quite informal and fragmented. In this episode, we hear from Yele about the work Bundle is doing to build products and use cases that make crypto more accessible, affordable and help bring it into the mainstream.For those less familiar with crypto terminology, we have also published a crypto glossary to define many of the terms used in this episode. Check it out here: https://theflip.africa/crypto-glossary/4:21 - First question, on consumer education in largely cash-based economies. 10:36 - The macro dynamics - such as devaluation of the Nigerian Naira - that help make the case for crypto adoption.14:41 - Bundle's origin story and the goals for the business.20:22 - An exploration of use cases for crypto beyond trading and speculation. 26:47 - A conversation on DeFi, or decentralized finance. 32:42 - On a grand scale, what kind of impact can crypto - and Bundle - have in Africa? This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by MFS Africa. MFS Africa's competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we'll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.Follow The Flip on social media @theflipafrica.

40mins

25 Feb 2021

Rank #4

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Digitizing Community Banking with Kwara's Cynthia Wandia

In this episode, we talk about savings and credit cooperative societies, or SACCOs, and the outsize role these member-owned community banks  play in African and emerging markets. While millions of Africans belong to SACCOs, it's an industry that Kwara's Cynthia Wandia calls "as analog as it gets". Kwara is a Kenyan startup building software to digitize SACCOs, and in this episode, we talk to Cynthia about the role SACCOs play in these markets, the product and design principles employed to ensure proper utilization of the platform, Kwara's impact for members, the company's origin story, and more. 4:23 - First question, what are SACCOs, and why are these types of member-owned community institutions so prevalent in markets like Kenya?10:20 - An introduction to Kwara and its products.16:54 - What product and design considerations went into building Kwara to ensure high utilization of the platform?21:06 - On Kwara's SACCO onboarding processes. 27:42 - We explore Cynthia's background and Kwara's origin story. 36:34 - Looking ahead, how does Kwara look at product and geographic expansion, and the opportunity to be an embedded finance platform?This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by MFS Africa. MFS Africa's competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we'll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.Follow The Flip on social media @theflipafrica.

46mins

18 Feb 2021

Rank #5

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Fintech for Cash-First Markets with Nomanini's Vahid Monadjem

In this episode, we continue our exploration of the entrepreneurs digitizing informal and analog markets, with Nomanini's Vahid Monadjem. Nomanini is a fintech platform for informal retail merchants in cash-heavy economies, and Vahid, the company's Founder and CEO, believes the best "way to move beyond cash is for us to be really interoperable with it." In this episode, we talk about specialization and interoperability, B2B partnerships, lessons from the last-mile, and much more.3:41 - First question, what is the market environment in which Nomanini is operating?7:42 - We dive deep into Nomanini's products.15:25 - A discussion on cash and interoperability.23:45 - On Nomanini's B2B partnerships and how to work with corporates.30:12 - What's Nomanini's origin story, and what lessons have they learned from their ten-year journey?36:05 - What does the future of fintech and informal retail in Africa look like?This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by MFS Africa. MFS Africa's competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we'll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.Follow The Flip on social media @theflipafrica.

42mins

11 Feb 2021

Rank #6

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Technology for Informal Trade with MarketForce 360's Tesh Mbaabu

In this episode, we open the black box of last-mile retail distribution with MarketForce 360's Tesh Mbaabu. 90 percent of trade in Africa is informal, and MarketForce's software-as-a-service platform to better manage their field sales agents and distribution. We'll talk about product, the considerations in building products you use at the last mile and the needs of the multinational FMCG companies and financial service providers at the other end of the value chain. We talk about his recent experience participating in Y Combinator's accelerator program, what other companies he hopes to see built in the retail and logistics space, and more.4:00 - First question, what problems do multinational FMCG companies have with regards to distributing products in African markets?5:31 - We dive into MarketForce 360's product.13:06 - Product and design lessons from the last-mile.14:41 - On consumer insights from the last-mile.16:17- On competition, strategy, and MarketForce's asset-light approach to servicing distributors and manufacturers.21:12 - We discuss Tesh's recent experience participating in Y Combinator's accelerator.23:40 - YC has Request for Startups; what is MarketForce's Request for Startups?This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by MFS Africa. MFS Africa's competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we'll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.Follow The Flip on social media @theflipafrica.

29mins

4 Feb 2021

Rank #7

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Building a Savings Culture with PiggyVest's Odunayo Eweniyi

In this episode, we explore digital savings with PiggyVest's Odunayo Eweniyi. PiggyVest's competition is the wooden box that Nigerians were using to save cash. We'll talk about how the company designed the product to compel mass-market consumers to save digitally; how their use of social media and word of mouth built trust and engendered a savings culture, how Odun think about new products, like crypto and insurance, as well as geographic expansion, and more.4:19 - First question, what is PiggyVest's core competency, and how has the founders' past experiences helped them build the product and the company?8:27 - We discuss key features of the savings platform, like a 90-day savings period.11:37 - How did PiggyVest build trust amongst its users?15:30 - On product and geographic expansion.24:08 - Odun shares her thoughts on competition and the un-bundling (and re-bundling) of financial services by the fintech ecosystem.This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by MFS Africa. MFS Africa's competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we'll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.Follow The Flip on social media @theflipafrica.

29mins

28 Jan 2021

Rank #8

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Insurance-as-a-Service with Lami's Jihan Abass

In this episode, we speak to Jihan Abass, the Founder and CEO of Lami, an insurance-as-a-service startup based in Nairobi, Kenya. Lami's platform enables insurers, banks, and other partners to offer  digital and flexible insurance to African consumers. 4:12 – First question: formal insurance penetration in Africa is 3%. What's the problem and how is Lami trying to solve it?6:45 – What does flexible, digital, B2B2C insurance actually look like in practice?9:32 - Lami's origin story.10:48 - A discussion about Griffin Motor Insurance, Lami's B2C motor insurance app used to test and showcase their product to prospective partners and customers. 15:10 - How can - and will - embedded, digital insurance increase insurance penetration on the continent?This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by  MFS Africa. MFS Africa’s competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we’ll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.Follow The Flip on social media @theflipafrica.

21mins

21 Jan 2021

Rank #9

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Digitizing Healthcare with Helium Health's Goke Olubusi

Our exploration of the entrepreneurs and startups digitizing analog and fragmented industries takes us to Nigeria, for a conversation with Helium Health's Co-founder and CEO Goke Olubusi. Helium's electronic medical records are providing the digital infrastructure for healthcare sectors across Africa, enabling a variety of stakeholders to make data-driven decisions.4:26 - First question: what does the state of healthcare look like, and how is Helium Health solving the industry's problems?9:16 - Helium's origin story. 11:48 - On the big picture solutions that are required to have the type of impact in healthcare the continent needs. 13:12 - A discussion on the benefits and opportunity of an open and operable approach.15:46 - Helium's geographic and product expansion strategies.19:42 - The impact of improving and opportunity to improve the efficiency of healthcare spending in Africa.  This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by  MFS Africa. MFS Africa’s competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we’ll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.

23mins

14 Jan 2021

Rank #10