Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Year in Review

Dear all,

I would like to congratulate everyone on a year of big achievements at Mobile Transactions. Some key highlights include:

  • $15.5 million in transaction value processed over our system (1,100% increase from 2009)
  • 100,000 consumer money transfers
  • 250,000 electronic voucher transactions across 30 districts with the World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organisation, and Conservation Farming Unit
  • $1.7 million of Dunavant cotton farmer payments
  • $500,000 in unbanked microfinance loan disbursements paid out through our agents
  • $1.5 million in banked payments
  • 9 Champion Agents successfully launched
  • 272 active agents (up from 69 at the end of December 2009)
  • Successful launch of our supplier payments product with two milling companies and a dozen retail agents
  • Translation of our voucher system into Portuguese for roll-out with WFP Mozambique
These achievements should be celebrated as they did not come easily. It took a tremendous amount of hard work from everyone on the Mobile Transactions team in the face of adversity and very limited cash flow.

In addition, we added key members of our team over the course of 2010, including Keith Davies (Operations and Finance), Hans Hesse (Vouchers and IT Integration), Jon-David Steffen (IT Developer), Dave Vosburg (Finance), Bronwyn Baker (Financial Analyst), Hope Okoronkwo (Bulk Payments), Gertrude Makando (Supplier Payments), Tasira Nkhata (Customer Care), Michael Bwalya (Agents), Chris Mwaba (Vouchers) and Patrina Mwila (Admin).

Sadly, Claudius Fundi, one of our first employees, will be moving on in the new year. We wish Claudius all the best as he tackles the next challenge and the Mobile Transactions door will always be open.

We also received some great consultancy work, starting with Leanne Viviers, an Oxford MBA graduate who stayed on after a 2 month pro-bono consultancy by a team of 4 Oxford students (Santiago Alvarez, Natalie Miller, and Simon Jebreel). Engineers Without Borders Canada contributed a volunteer, Ben Campbell, to lead our Dunavant farmer payments project based out in Katete, Grassroots Business Fund pitched in with Sarah Taylor (legal), and PROFIT funded a regulatory consultant (Loretta Michaels). All of these individuals and organisational partnerships have added tremendous value to our business.

Finally, I would personally like to thank John Schroeder and Christine Phillpotts (GBF) for spearheading our advisory board, and Patrick Pichette for the personal mentorship and support. We are very humbled at Mobile Transactions to have such a great network to fall back on.

I am very confident 2011 will be a break-out year for Mobile Transactions. As the World Food Programme winds down their e-voucher project in January as part of their normal funding cycle we will focus on filling the gap with a boost in transaction volume from our very promising supplier payment product. Thulasy Balasubramaniam will be re-joining us to manage our Supplier Payments division, and there couldn't be a better person at a better time.

Our big target for 2011 is to close a Series A investment round to secure the necessary financial resources and investment partners to realise our full potential in Zambia and beyond. We are very excited by the interest investors have already shown, and if we can continue to grow and demonstrate our capability as a team, I have no doubt we are on the path to success.

On behalf of the Mobile Transactions team, I wish everyone the happiest of holidays and look forward to an even bigger year in 2011.


Mike Quinn

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