12 May 2021
Brastorne Enterprises has officially launched its mAgri service in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
It's the beginning of a new dawn for Brastorne Enterprises as we expand our impact to reach feature phone users in DRC. One of our flagship products- mAgri- is live in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the mAgri app was launched on the 12th May, 2021 . mAgri is a USSD mobile application that helps transform the way the farming community interacts by allowing all farmers (including the mostly underserved in remote villages) to market their products and services across the country as well as affording access to all the crucial information and resources they need to sustain their livestock and take-care of their farms.
With a mobile penetration rate of 55%, we have the potential to serve up to 45+ Million users in DRC and we are excited to impact underserved communities in the DRC. mAgri provides a bouquet of services which aim to facilitate communication & make access to information easier via its chat function, catering for the needs of users in the agricultural market. The essential point of mAgri is to inspire Africans in remote, under-served communities to take charge of developing themselves and progress financially, basically being able to sustain themselves.
With mobile service reaching 95% of the global population and mobile internet access spreading fast, the digital revolution is empowering citizens and re-shaping societies all over the world (GSMA). At Brastorne Enterprises we believe in "connecting the Unconnected" in Africa and are pleased to be making a difference in the lives of semi-rural communities in DRC.
25 May 2021
Brastorne Enterprises becomes a member of Draper Richards Kaplan (DRK) portfolio foundation.
Brastorne Enterprises has officially become a member of Draper Richards Kaplan (DRK) Foundation. The Draper Richards Kaplan foundation is a global venture philanthropy firm that supports early stage, high impact social enterprises.
Essentially, DRK finds, funds and supports exceptional leaders with innovative and highly impactful ideas that have great potential to scale and provides them with unrestricted capital as well as ongoing support - by joining their board of directors and partnering with the leader to help build capacity in the organization and scale their impact. DRK invests in a wide variety of sectors, both in the United States of America (USA) as well as internationally. To date DRK has invested in over 185 organizations across the world, which represent some of the most exciting new initiatives in the social sector. Over 150M+ lives have been affected by the DRK portfolio organizations and we are pleased to announce that Brastorne has now become part of this global movement.
Brastorne has built a suite of products targeting 300 million feature phone users in Africa, who are among the world’s poorest and most marginalized citizens. We provide access to trade (mobile marketplace), information, knowledge sharing, market prices, and chat services through feature phones, without the need for data or internet. Brastorne’s deep understanding of the mobile phone usage in Africa, expertise in technology, as well as affinity for the financial constraints of its users, has allowed it to scale rapidly to more than 1 million users in Botswana within two years of launching.
Between 2014 and 2016, global socially responsible investments grew by 25% to $23 trillion, a figure that clearly represents society’s growing demand for companies to acknowledge their role as influencers of the masses, and contributors to environmental and social welfare (McKinsey & Co). It is apparent that most telcos, versatile application designers, and the whole advanced economy are currently working against Africa's poor. However, free access to the web empowers low-pay families to get to devices and administration that can lift them out of destitution. Unfortunately, just 24% of the 1 billion individuals in Africa have routine access to the web, while destitute Africans are excessively detached.
Hence our central goal of connecting the unconnected.As a result of our partnership with telcos in Botswana, Brastorne has reached more than 1 million users altogether, with 150,000 month to month dynamic users—addressing 40% of dynamic telephone clients on the Orange portable organization in Botswana. In light of our traction with Orange in Botswana, we intend to expand our reach to other African nations. In May 2021, we dispatched Brastorne and mAgri to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in partnership with Orange DRC; within the first two months, we had reached 200,000 users in the country.
Through the DRK foundation support, Brastorne has had access to a treasure trove of resources, opportunities as well as connections that have taken Brastorne Enterprises to new and greater heights. We are looking forward to working with DRK foundation.
9 June 2021
Of Africa’s 1 billion people, 650 million own mobile phones—yet, paradoxically, most lack meaningful digital access; experts project 750 million Africans are “digitally excluded.” Why? Because most phones are ‘feature’ phones that lack apps—and because Africa is the world’s most expensive region for data.
mAgri creates value for rural farmers by connecting them to the agricultural economy in their region. More than 50% of African farmers are women, and >60% are under 30 years of age; mAgri will have a significant impact on these groups. giving them meaningful opportunity to enhance their farming practices, save costs, (travel and data costs associated with sourcing information) and market their produce/livestock profitably.
2 September 2021
Brastorne Enterprises has been selected as a winning solver team for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Solve 2021 Initiative.
Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States of America with a mission to solve world challenges. Through open innovation challenges, solve finds incredible tech-based entrepreneurs all around the world. Earlier this year, MIT launched the 2021 MIT Solve Global Challenges: Health Security & Pandemics, Digital Inclusion, Equitable Classrooms, Resilient Ecosystems, and Anti-Racist Technology in the U.S. Over 1,800 teams from 128 countries responded with innovative solutions. Brastorne identified this opportunity and followed a robust application and vetting process for the Digital Inclusion challenge. The company successfully made it through to the semi-finals, which selected 12 teams out of the 1800 teams that applied, it was later announced as one of the 7 winning teams. Brastorne is the first team from Botswana to have ever been selected as a solver team in the history of Solve.
“The challenge resonated so well with the wonderful work that we do at Brastorne in bridging the digital gap in Africa, it only made sense for us to apply” said Naledi Magowe, the Chief Growth Officer of Brastorne. Brastorne is a youth driven citizen owned company that is committed to connecting 760 million Africans who lack meaningful access to today's digital world. “We connect unconnected rural mobile users through our USSD, SMS and IVR solutions in partnership with international organizations such as Draper Richard Kaplan foundation (USA), Mercy Corps (USA), Orange Botswana, Orange DRC, as well as Orange France and others”. In addition to being selected as an MIT solver, Brastorne was given additional exposure in a plenary discussion about the impact of digital access. Naledi Magowe represented Brastorne speaking alongside the internationally acclaimed Eric Yuan, CEO and founder of ZOOM at the Solve 2021 finals virtual event. Moreover, Brastorne also won an additional prestigious sponsored prize at the event: The HP (Hewlett-Packard) Prize for Advancing Digital Equity.
Although Brastorne supports mobile tech solutions in health, legal services, e-commerce, logistics and financial inclusion, it is best known for its Mpotsa, mAgri and Vuka chat solutions which enable under-served users to build communities, connect, access timely information, and participate in a mobile marketplace. Given Brastorne’s success in Botswana and the scalability of its solutions, the company has since launched its flagship mAgri solution in the DRC in partnership with orange DRC and Mercy Corps. Brastorne has since surpassed its milestone of reaching over 1 million users in Africa. By January 2022 Brastorne will have expanded its footprint to also include Cameroon and Mali. Brastorne is a youth-led organization consisting of a team of 40 passionate and committed young people who want to make a difference not only in Botswana but in Africa.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our loyal supporters, for your continued support. We’re honored to be a part of the MIT Solve program this year, and we look forward to how we can grow with the support of the MIT community!”
-Naledi Magowe, Co-Founder
5 October 2021
Brastorne Enterprises Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Martin Stimela is currently in France by invitation of the Secretary-General of the New Africa-France Summit - Benoît Verde. He is attending the Ambition Africa, New Africa-France Summit as well as Bpifrance Inno Generation events.
Through attending these events, he intends to establish and cultivate strategic relationships for Brastorne Enterprises. “All these events aim to expand business networks and develop strategic partnerships with cross countries, giving business-people the exposure they need to acquire the appropriate links, that will motivate them to grow successfully,” Martin Stimela.
The New Africa – France summit, for instance aims to establish a new perspective and help to develop forms in which Africa and France’s relationship could take in the future. It brings together nearly 3,000 business-people, scientists, students, artists, intellectuals, etc. around five major themes: Doing business and innovating/feeding, providing care, protecting/heritage and culture, etc.
Ambition Africa, on the other hand, is organized by Business France and placed under the patronage of the president of France – Mr. Emmanuel Macron. It seeks to bring together many African and French (public and private) partners, with the intent to strengthen and accelerate economic ties between France and Africa through round-tables, conferences, networking and Business to Business (B2B) meetings.
Brastorne Enterprises has partners in France, some of which have helped the company scale its solutions and expand in Africa. This opportunity is another crucial extension of goodwill from these partners, to enable Brastorne’s expansion not only by network but also by exposure to other opportunities for growth. Additionally, these events will help Brastorne Enterprises in their endeavours to seek the right funding to support its roadmap to achieve all their goals by 2025.