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AppDate: Informal merchants benefit from a super app

In his latest AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights the MarketForce RejaReja super app, My Smart City additions, My Cancer Guide, Typewise’s autocorrect patent, and the John Deere e-commerce platform.

MarketForce RejaReja super app

MarketForce has raised $40-million for informal merchants through its RejaReja super app.

The app not only helps them stock their shelves with fast-moving consumer goods within 24 hours through a buy now pay later (BNPL) model, but also offers digital services, such as the ability to resell airtime and data and pay water and electricity bills.

MarketForce is currently operational in five markets, including Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. Last year it served about 5,000 customers, and that figure has grown to about 100,000 merchants, with the average transaction size tripling and revenue growing 27 times over the same period.

MarketForce now plans to help merchant inventory financing by enhancing its BNPL offering and make more digital financial and banking services available.

“Our goal is to be a reliable partner for informal merchants, empowering them to maximise their profits and grow in a digital age by getting better service and access to new revenue opportunities,” says CEO Tesh Mbaabu.

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: The RejaReja app can be downloaded here.

To find out more about MarketForce click here

Additions to the My Smart City app

The My Smart City platform, which was launched last year and allows citizens to log service delivery issues, is now available in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and eThekwini.

The service has been extended, allowing users to connect through the My Smart City social feed. This personalised social feed has a news and alerts feed and gathers the following information:

  • An alerts section for information about load shedding, water outages, power outages, natural disasters, and roadworks
  • A news feed section allows users to view, create, share and engage with posts created by other residents in their area. This could include a ward councillor, a neighbourhood watch group, or a concerned neighbour. It is a channel where people can raise concerns and receive feedback

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: The My Smart City app can be downloaded for Android here and for iOS here

Typewise autocorrect patent

Typewise has filed a patent for its autocorrect and text prediction technology that, it says, outperforms Google Gboard and Apple Keyboard.

According to Typewise, in ongoing tests, its autocorrect technology corrects a higher percentage of errors than either Google Gboard or Apple Keyboard and delivers a much lower percentage of miscorrected words. Typewise says its text prediction also saves a greater percentage of character input than either of these two competitors.  

“Although our autocorrect and text prediction already outperforms the competition straight out of the box, it also learns from the user, picking up their slang and dialects, so gets even better with time,” says CEO David Eberle.

Autocorrect and text prediction: Typewise Keyboard vs Gboard vs Apple Keyboard

(as claimed by Typewise)

Smartphone Keyboard % Errors Corrected  % Miscorrected words  % Characters Saved 
Typewise 72.38 0.39 65% 
Google Gboard 70.64 0.92 48% 
Apple Keyboard 67.59 0.75 50% 

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the Typewise website here for downloading instructions.

John Deere e-commerce platform

John Deere has announced a new ecommerce platform for parts sales, which allows customers to purchase parts 24-hours a day. 

“With the new online shopfront, farmers can shop for parts during season, minimising downtime,” says Janalize van Buuren, director aftermarket and customer support. “Should a machine fail in the field late at night, farmers do not have to wait until the next day to order the part from their closest dealer. They can order it online, via their phone or computer, and the part will be available the following morning  for collection or delivery.” 

The John Deere online parts store offers a simple-to-use interface. Users can browse the website and log in when ready to purchase. They then need to choose the closest branch to them, order the parts and select their delivery or collection options and pay online.

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Expect to pay: A free service to John Deere owners

Stockists: Visit the John Deere e-commerce site here.

My Cancer Guide

Campaigning for Cancer has developed a web-based app called My Cancer Guide, which assists women in completing their monthly, ‘step-by-step’ breast self-examination and cervical self-observation. It sends monthly reminders and keeps a record of past screening results. 

The app allows patients and those affected by cancer to manage their rights and responsibilities by providing tools and points of referral.

The intention is to keep patients, survivors and citizens informed, and to ensure they have access to the resources they need.

On a personal level, the programme is focused on giving cancer patients access to the latest credible information about the disease and treatment, and educating them by providing resources, support and referrals. 

Platform: Sign up here:
Expect to pay: A free service.
Stockists: Visit the Campaigning for Cancer website here for more information.

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