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Kenyan telco Safaricom’s Alpha incubator faces uncertain future

The space was established in 2017 to spur new product development for Safaricom, which is Kenya’s largest mobile operator and the provider of M-Pesa — East Africa’s most used mobile-money product.

In 2017, Safaricom’s chief innovation officer and first head of Alpha, Kamal Bhattacharya, echoed Collymore’s mission to diversify the company’s offerings.

“We’d actually like to move beyond M-Pesa by leveraging its power as a social network to connect people to other product solutions,” he told TechCrunch.

In a space purposely established away from Safaricom’s HQ, Alpha’s team of innovators set to shaping new digital offerings.

In 2018, the incubator rolled out its first product, a social networking platform called Bonga, to augment M-Pesa.

TechCrunch asked Safaricom directly on the future of Alpha, and specifically if it would confirm or deny reports the innovation incubator could shut down.

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