BIG5D Podcasts

The BIG5D Podcast explores the Africa-Middle East local and small business tech ecosystem by talking to the people who are building it.

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If you are interested in sponsoring the BIG5D Podcast, please write to Charles@bigfivedigital.org

Episode 30: Zacharias George, Launch Africa Ventures

This episode features an interview with Zachariah George, MP of Launch Africa Ventures, an early-stage VC investing in African B2B startups.To access podcast bonus features, subscribe at ctlaughlin.substack.com/Here is a link to the article on the demise of Kune Food.ctlaughlin.substack.com/i/60532660/th…-of-kune-foodThis episode is sponsored by Matchcraftwww.matchcraft.com/

Episode 29: Jason Sive, Mobicred

Episode 29: Jason Sive, the CEO of South African virtual credit platform Mobicred talks about the problems facing the buy now, pay later space. This interview was recorded at the BigFive Summit, 12-13 May 2022 in Cape Town.

Episode 28: Vinny Lingham, Waitroom

This episode features South Africa Shark Vinny Lingham talking about his new company Waitroom, why South Africa will never be a tech innovation leader, the true promise of blockchain, and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. This episode is sponsored by Matchcraft

Episode 27: Gideon Greaves, CV VC

Episode 27 features Gideon Greaves, MD, Africa for CV VC, a Zurich-based blockchain-focused VC firm.Greaves was brought on last year to build the VC firm's Africa practice. As he explains in the podcast, there is plenty of activity among startups built on blockchain technology, many of which address small business pain points. What's missing, Greaves argues, is a stronger supporting ecosystem and more capital. Greaves will also speak at our upcoming BigFive Summit, 11-13 May 2022 in Cape Town.To receive the full, ad-free version of the podcast, please subscribe at ctlaughlin.substack.com/

Episode 26: Guy Futi, Orda

In 2020, Guy Futi left Jumia, where he ran Jumia Food in Nigeria, to launch Orda, a Lagos-based software company that aspires to be the operating system for small (and also large) restaurants across Africa.Great conversation about launching a business and raising money with a born entrepreneur.

Episode 25: Mike Smits, Ukheshe Technologies

Episode 25 of the BIG5D Podcast features a conversation with Mike Smits, CFO and a co-founder of Ukheshe, a South African fintech that provides API-first fintech-as-a-service solutions to banks, telecoms, and other fintech companies.

Episode 24: Ezana Raswork, Africa 118 & Taskmoby
This episode features an interview with Ezana Raswork, CEO of Africa 118 and Taskmoby. The latter company is an Ethiopean home services platform that was a 2021recipient of Google's Black Founders Award, an equity-free investment from the search giant.
Episode 23: Tariq Sheikh, CEO, Postpay
Postpay is a player in the Middle East buy now, pay later space. And it hopes soon in the wider Africa, Middle East, and Asian markets.A former consultant, Sheikh launched Postpay in 2019, around the same time as several other regional competitors. The podcast covers the BNPL business model, competitive environment, future direction, and more.Episode sponsored by Matchcraft.com
Episode 22: Deepankar Rustagi, CEO, Omnibiz
Deepankar Rustagi founded Omnibiz in 2020 to help small FMCG retailers run their businesses more efficiently. He explains his business and his outlook on Africa's tech scene in this 30-minute interview.The company recently raised $3 million to build out its product and pursue international expansion.Episode sponsored by Matchcraft (matchcraft.com)
Episode 21: Kennedy Kamau, MD, Kune Food
The episode features an interview with Kennedy Kamau, a startup veteran who is now managing director of Kune Food, a food-tech startup in Nairobi that has a unique business model, using its own cloud kitchen and a fully owned and operated distribution network.The company raised a $1M pre-seed round this year. This event sparked a brief controversy over supposed preferential treatment for ex-pat startup founders in Africa. Kune's founder is a French national.This episode is sponsored by MatchCraft, a global martech firm with partners on six continents. Please visit them at matchcraft.com.
Episode 20: Martin Majlund, CEO, Sky.Garden
This episode features Martin Majlund, co-founder and CEO of Sky.Garden, an eCommerce that offers a Shopify-like solution to small businesses in East Africa. The company recently raised $4 million to grow and expand internationally.This episode is sponsored by Matchcraft.
Episode 19: Simon Ellis, SmartWage
This episode features a conversation about earned wage access with SmartWave CEO Simon Ellis. EWA is an increasingly common tool that gives employees access to wages before payday, usually for a small fee. EWA platforms are popping up all across Africa, where the need is acute. By some measures, nearly 80% of lower-wage workers in South Africa run out of money before payday, leaving them vulnerable to payday lenders. Simon walks us through the business model, detailing both its challenges and opportunities.
Episode 18: Mohamed Al Fayed, Grubtech
Mohamed Al Fayed is co-founder and CEO of grubtech company that is emerging as a key infrastructure player in the UAE’s exploding ghost kitchen scene.Grubtech has built an operating system to address the friction points arising from running a high-volume food delivery business.
Episode 17: Tori Samples, Leaf Global Fintech
Tori Samples is co-founder and CTO of Leaf Global Fintech, a company based in East Africa that offers a blockchain-based digital wallet for refugees and migrant workers.The podcast focuses on whether a mission-driven business can also be a scalable fintech. And why blockchain can transform the African small business fintech space.Note: The interview with Tori begins at the 6:45 mark.
Episode 16: Firas Ahmad. AzamPay
This episode features Firas Ahmad, /CEO of AxamPay, an East African fintech that is a division of Azam Group, the East African conglomerate.Firas is a thought leader on African fintech in addition to running a payments platform. His view that mobile money is not sufficiently innovative forms the nucleus of our conversation.
Episode 15: Katharine Budd, NOW Money
Katharine Budd and her business partner Ian Dillon spotted a huge underserved community in the Gulf Region. The millions of lower-wage migrant workers are largely unbanked and send billions of dollars back to their families in their countries of origin. NOW Money has created a digital banking solution, including remittances. for this population. The TAM is huge, but so are the challenges facing this business model.
Episode 14: Brett White, Zapper
We engage Zapper CEO Brett White on the stage of small business in South Africa one year into the pandemic. We also discuss innovation, fintechs vs banks, and the technologies that will drive the payments space in the years to come.
Episode 13: Lauren Kagori, Pezesha
Lauren Kagori works with Pezesha, a financial inclusion platform in East Africa that is trying to solve to problem of poor access to capital for small businesses through crowdfunding.
Episode 12: Omosalewa Adeyemi, Flutterwave
Flutterwave's head of global partnerships chats with the BIG5D Podcast about her company's meteoric rise to become of just a few tech unicorns in Africa. Among the topics covered include Flutterwave's $170 million Series C round, its new deal with PayPal, and the complexities of simplifying payments in Africa.
Episode 11: Dana Buys, CEO, Cloudone.mobi
Cloudone's TallOrder point of sale solution is designed for a mobile-first present and self-service future in the retail, dining, and hospitality industries.His company's newest product VerPay, adds a needed trust layer to take payments over a voice call.This episode also features a discussion of the battered state of South Africa's hospitality industry in the wake of the pandemic and how the industry will change permanently in the future.
Episode 10: Meghan McCormick, Co-founder & CEO, OZÉ
This is the first in the BIG5D Podcast's Fintech Founders Series, This episode features OZÉ CEO Meghan McCormick.Meghan explains her journey from American Peace Corp veteran and management consultant to founding a small-business fintech based in Ghana that helps SMMEs get organized with SaaS tools and get access to capital on fair terms.Meghan comes to everything with a core mission of creating jobs by helping small businesses thrive.
Episode Nine: Kartik Taneja, Head of B2B Solutions, EMEA, Uber

The pandemic has created challenges for the region’s logistics players — ride-hailing services, food delivery apps, and others. But there is also a tremendous emerging opportunity to offer an ever-widening array of services. We will explore this landscape with Uber’s Kartik Taneja.


Episode sponsored by MatchCraft (www.matchcraft.com)

Episode Eight: Samantha Naidu, Volt Africa

This episode of BIG5D.TV features an interview with Samantha Naidu, CEO of Volt Africa. We discuss the optimal digital solution set for African SMEs, particularly in times of crisis.


This episode was sponsored by Duda: www.duda.co/

Episode Seven: Colin Timmis, Xero
Today’s guest is Colin Timmis, the South Africa country manager for Xero -- the global cloud accounting platform.
We had a great conversation about what it takes to get SMMEs to overcome their anxiety about technology and use it to their advantage.This episode is sponsored by Duda
Episode 6: Grant Greeff
Cape Town entrepreneur Grant Greeff shares his experience of trying to save one company, EHire, while launching another, OpenRoute, in the midst of a global pandemic.
Episode 5: Featuring Wayne Bischoff & George Leith
This is the podcast version of the BIG5D.TV video series. This episode features a conversation about sales during the COVID-19 pandemic with Wayne Bischoff, CEO of Mediamark, a media sales house in South Africa, and George Lieth, EVP Sales at Vendasta, a Canadian martech company. The original interview was conducted in July 2020.
Episode 4: Trevor Nadeau, Local Knowledge
This podcast features a conversation on the challenges of building location databases in emerging markets. Our guest is Trevor Nadeau, founder & MD of Local Knowledge FZE, a listings management company based in UAE. Trevor has spent decades in the region learning the ins and outs of building location databases in challenging environments. Great discussion for anyone who is interested in the digital opportuity for small business in the AME region.
Episode 3: Gustav Praekelt, Praekelt.com
This episode of the BigFive Podcast features a conversation with Gustav Praekelt of Praekelt.com. Gustav is an engineer and developer whose company creates UX design and engineering solutions for corporate clients. Our conversation centered around how conversational applications are transforming small business in emerging markets.
Episode 2: Louw Barnardt, Outsourced CFO
Louw Barnardt is a chartered accountant by training and an entrepreneur by nature. He is the co-founder and MD of Outsourced CFO, a Cape Town start-up than gives SMEs and fellow start-ups access to financial expertise that they cannot otherwise afford in the early stages of their growth. OCFO also offers cloud accounting solution based on Xero. We talked about startups, the Cape Town scene and how the cloud has transformed how businesses are formed today.
Episode 1: Ezana Raswork, Africa 118
Ezana Raswork, is founder and CEO of Africa118, a directory of business listings throughout Africa and a provider of digital marketing services to Africa SMEs. On the podcast we hear Ezana’s founding story, how Africa 118 is trying to address clear market need, his optimism about business opportunities in Africa and the environment for entrepreneurship on the African continent and how it can be improved.

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