- Tingo has built its business from a little start-up selling ring tones into an agri-fintech giant by bringing technology to uplift the underserved rural farming market in Nigeria
- The company has multiple partnerships in motion designed to provide financial inclusion and opportunities for small-to-medium size enterprises that fall under the UN guidelines for Sustainable Development
- With annual revenue more than $850 million currently, Tingo is seeking to expand across Africa and move to the NYSE
“We rise by lifting others up,” said Dozy Mmobuosi, Founder and CEO of Tingo (OTC: TMNA) in a recent interview with Forbes Africa, a demonstration of the moral compass that guides him in business decisions. In a highly competitive financial technology market, that’s not the type of mantra common for an listed company, but Mmobuosi, who holds a PhD in Rural Advancement from UPM Malaysia, is anything but your typical. The 44-year-old has built Tingo into a multi-billion-dollar vertically integrated company that checks all the boxes of social consciousness to empowering Africans through technology.
To say, “OTC-listed” is accurate at the moment, while understanding that the company’s new website is designed to “comply with the disclosure standards of the New York Stock Exchange,” which dovetails with the company’s recent listing application submitted to the NYSE with intentions to be on the blue chip exchange in the first half of 2022.
Mmobuosi is a veteran corporate advisor that has worked with clients throughout the U.S., U.K., Asia, UAE, and Bulgaria. He co-founded Tingo Mobile PLC (Nigeria) in his early twenties, simultaneously leading the design and launch of one of Nigeria’s first SMS banking solution. Under his leadership, Tingo has grown from an upstart selling ringtones to mobile networks into a robust agri-fintech ecosystem, a cellular network catering to rural locations, a leading mobile payment application (TingoPay), a digital agri-marketplace branded Nwassa, and nearly 10 million users in Nigeria that undergird annual revenue of $860+ million.
The company’s driven to provide technology solutions for rural farmers in Nigeria to allow them to compete and prosper in wider markets rather than be confined to local sales. In aggregate, small farming operations are anything but small in Sub-Saharan Africa, as more than 60 million people are smallholder farmers in an industry that generates 23-24% of Sub-Saharan, and 26% of Nigeria’s, gross domestic product each year.
The continent has experienced strong adoption of mobile technologies in recent years, with high concentrated in certain countries, including Nigeria. Tingo is focused on providing rural farmers affordable mobile phones and financial services including accounts, payments, lending, and insurance that can all be transacted on the Tingo mobile devices, as well as a marketplace to reach a bigger audience.
In doing so, Tingo addresses six of the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals, including the 1st and 2nd of no poverty and zero hunger. Tingo further provides a positive social impact by reducing inequities, supporting decent work and economic growth, gender equality, and sustainable communities. Inclusion is top priority, with Tingo implementing a device-as-a-service model that makes its mobile phones affordable for all by spreading payments across 36-months and committing to giving each customer a phone upgrade at the end of the three years. With those phones, customers can then access all the other services that Tingo offers, effectively increasing output to the point that the devices pay for themselves and earn extra income for the business.
In Nigeria, financial exclusion is rampant, evidenced by 38 million adults being unbanked. In 2021, N26.17 trillion (US$62.93 billion) was the total of unbanked money in the country, meaning transactions that occurred outside traditional banking systems. TingoPay is a comprehensive solution that bridges this gap, handling produce sales transactions, settlements, escrow and even storage and logistics, while providing unbanked farmers with a means to send and receive payments from a mobile wallet securely.
Tingo bundle also squares another circle that plague Nigerian farmers: post-harvest loses. Inefficiencies in the supply chain have historically slashed into profits as post-harvest losses can soar as high as 50 percent. The marketplace and other services help growers locate a buyer, get paid and get the product delivered in a timely manner before it goes bad.
In its inclusion initiatives, Tingo is prioritizing uplifting women that make up a significant portion of the agricultural workforce. It is estimated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development that 54 million of Nigeria’s 78 million women are based in rural areas and make a living from land. Tingo may look to raise in the region of $500 million to expand across Africa, capital that also has $100 million earmarked to create a fund to increase credit to mostly women farmers.
Tingo is unrelenting in its mission to transform the African agriculture industry and, more broadly, improve the quality of life for the 1.2 billion Africans
A new partnership between Tingo, ITScope Consulting, and the federal Nigerian government has been launched to develop a new online portal, the Integrated Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (“iMSME”) ecosystem designed to facilitate communication among businesses and to build relationships with potential partners, clients, and customers.
“We rise by lifting others up.” Nothing could be truer, and it is simply a brilliant business model that is growing Tingo into an African juggernaut that seems to really be hitting its stride.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.TingoGroup.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to TMNA are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/TMNA
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