Podcast 47: TADSummit Innovators. Robert Wakeling, Wadaro

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I’ve known Robert since he founded Wadaro. Here’s a piece I wrote about Wadaro in 2012. It was Tim Pickup that introduced us. Wadaro have been focused on SIM apps since Robert’s previous company Magic4 was bought by Openwave.

What prompted Robert to start Wadaro is not having mobile signal at the back of his home. He called the carrier, and they were adamant, based on their data, he should have signal.

The usual, ‘it’s not me, its you!’ So Rob met with the carrier and understood they used tools that only approximated customer experience, for example drive tests. They did not actually measure the experience customer’s received. While using a SIM app he could deliver that data.

Hence Wadaro’s journey. It was Safaricom in Africa that proved his idea and they scaled up across that carrier. Wadaro are a technology and services company, they partner with many SIM companies as their contingency based sales force. Deals are struck directly with carriers and governments.

There are numerous use cases. For example independently proving a vendor has implemented a network to the agreed coverage and performance. Regulators confirming coverage and performance targets are meeting those agreed in the license. Optimizing network investment to maximize customer experience impact. Actually knowing what customers are experiencing with respect to dropped calls, signal level, and data throughput. Detecting SIM farms. Intelligence at security incidents. The list goes on.

What is really exciting is building on Wadaro’s success into micro-lending using a SIM app and blockchain technology. For me the new things I learned are the global customer base Wadaro has built, and the micro-lending app shows lots of potential for emerging markets.

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