Cassava Smartech is a diversified smartech group, with a mandate to use digital solutions to drive socio-economic development and to improve the overall quality of life for all Africans. They are on a transformational mission, and they envision a future whereby their solutions are able to touch every life and bring a positive impact.
Cassava SmarTech Zimbabwe (ZSE: CSZL) made history on 18 December 2018 when it debuted in the market at a price of zwl$1.50 per share, valuing the company at $3,8bn. It immediately became Zimbabwe’s third most valuable company after Delta and Econet Wireless (ZSE: ECO) (it’s now telecoms only, sister company).
By any measure that was easily the largest public listing in Zimbabwe’s history, and the first listing in three years. It will go a long way in helping pension funds in particular recover losses caused by high inflation in the country.
In splitting Econet’s listing into two separate listed companies, the value has gone up from $3,2bn to $7,6bn in less than three months. This has achieved the stated objective of Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa, who said it was designed to “unlock” the value of the business.
Several international research analysts had already predicted that Cassava would command high valuations because of the nature of its businesses. African Alliance a Kenyan based market research firm predicted that Cassava would trade over $3.2bn, in a research paper published last week, while a new report by Investec Bank of South Africa, valued the company at almost $6bn.
Cassava Smartech is essentially a technology platforms business that uses the mobile network to deliver services in almost every sector of the economy including financial services, health, agriculture, media, transport and logistics and education.
The most popular services are Eco Cash, and Eco Sure, which have become mainstays of financial services (Fintechs). Both Investec and African Alliance pointed out in their reports that Cassava should be seen as one of the most successful Fintech platforms primarily because of Eco Cash and Eco Sure. Its banking unit Steward Bank is not a traditional bank, as its revenues are driven by the embedded role it provides in supporting Eco Cash. It has more customers than all the banks put together.
What Has Been Cassava’s Strategy?
Cassava’s strategy has always been starting small, and grow with revenue generated from each project. On a Facebook post by the Econet Founder Dr Strive Masiyiwa, he highlighted that they mainly scale up a company when it turns cash flow positive. Their tractor services under Vaya Logistics was introduced to other African Countries after attaining a cash flow positive.
Cassava also invests in strategic partnerships, weather small or big. Through its Vaya Platform it has partnered in start-ups from Togo so as to infiltrate the Togo-Agric Sector. One of its Global Partner is Tata Group from India.
Diversity: Vaya only also offers:
- Vaya express (motor bikes)
- Vaya Delivery Van
- Vaya Tractor
- Vaya Truck
- Clean City
- Vaya Road Assist
- Clean city water delivery
- Vaya Borehole Drilling
It capitalizes on its Econet database for marketing and use of ussd code to cut costs for users associated with internet.
When Zimbabwe fully adopts digitization, Cassava will be untouchable.
Some of Its Services
VAYA Africa Mauritius Limited (Vaya means “Let’s Go” in Ndebele) is a Mauritius registered company with a mandate to transport people and goods (conveniently,
affordably, reliably and safely) from one point to another across Africa and unlock adjacent revenue generating opportunities within the transportation sector. It focuses on developing, deploying and scaling Transportation as a Service digital marketplace platform (Amazon of Transportation) working together with strategic partners. Technology inclusion and digital transformation of the logistics and mobility industry in Africa is a great opportunity which they aim to embrace as they create sustainable value for their customers and partners.
Sasai is Africa’s first truly global super app. It is a multi-service technology platform that brings together digital payment solutions (e-wallet, cross-border money transfers), on-demand services (ride-hailing, courier), instant messaging (chats, voice & video calls), and digital media services (podcasts, video streaming) in a single, easy-to-use mobile application.
Ownai Classifieds is an online marketplace for buyers and sellers, with a strong focus on promoting small businesses and growth of the informal sector. Its value proposition is supported through the provision of a platform that allows buyers and sellers to transact in a safe, secure and convenient manner.
- AKELLO BOOKS
Akello Books, the latest one is an eBook store platform that provides academic and non-academic affordable and reliable access to world-class content. The platform goes beyond simply making books available at a cheaper price, but is part of a larger strategy to help Africans gain access to current educational materials and specialized content from across the globe.