Saya is an SMS killer bringing smart-phone-like messaging to billions of low-end devices in emerging markets.
Unlike common chat applications, Saya works on low-end phones in emerging markets, enabling advanced functionality such as facebook chat, group discussions, location-based chat, and exchange of multi-media. Saya is a cross platform application currently available for iOS, BlackBerry, Android, and Java.
The co-founders of Saya travelled from Ghana, Africa to compete as one of 30 companies launching at TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield. They will be the only African team to pitch and in fact they are the first African team ever to take to the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield stage. Microsoft acquired the 2008 Battlefield winner’s, Yammer, for $1.2 billion earlier this year.
Robert Lamptey, CEO and co – founder of Saya, explained to the judges, “The ongoing debate about the smartphones, the androids and the iPhones, is pretty interesting but not everyone has a smartphone, actually there are 5.4 billion mobile phones in the world that aren’t smartphones and we want these people to have the option to communicate in a cost effective and beautiful way.”
Co-founders Robert Lamptey and Badu Boahen created Saya because they themselves had a problem communicating on their feature phones and the only option they had was SMS. They thought SMS was not intuitive and very expensive.
Being engineers they hacked together a solution which allowed conversations between their internet enabled devices and it cost 1000 times less than they had been spending on SMS. At the time they were attending the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Ghana. After graduating in June 2011 Robert and Badu were awarded $70k USD seed funding from The Meltwater Foundation to start the Saya revolution.
Robert explained, “We’ve had over 80K people test Saya and we have seen discussions ranging from developmental issues, people discussing politics and some people even dating. Very interestingly we have seen usage in Syria as well. Just think of the possibilities of giving people a tool to change their lives!”
Saya is currently seeking a series A round to fund its expansion into emerging markets globally.
Saya is a cross platform chat application here to revolutionize messaging, bringing rich beautiful messaging to billions of mobile devices in emerging markets, killing SMS. Saya was founded on 1st August in 2011 and the team currently consists of two co-founders and 3 developers all based in Accra, Ghana. www.saya.im @sayachat
About The Meltwater Foundation
The Meltwater Foundation is the non-profit arm of Meltwater Group, the global leader in media intelligence. The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology – or MEST is a 2-year training program for software entrepreneurs based in Ghana with the mission to create jobs and wealth locally in Africa. MEST has an associated incubator and seed fund. Currently the MEST incubator houses 11 tech start-ups and 34 entrepreneurs, all graduates of it’s 2-year program. www.meltwater.org @MESTGhana
+1 415 860 9850
MEST, located in Accra, Ghana, provides a fully sponsored training and mentoring program in software development and entrepreneurship for aspiring African software entrepreneurs. MEST is an NGO funded by the Meltwater Group. Read More