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.