May 2

Press Release: Nodle and Watu Use Blockchain to Help Boda Boda Riders in Africa

Watu, an asset financing company enabling entrepreneurs across Africa, has entered into a strategic partnership with Nodle (NODL), a global force in blockchain innovation, to develop innovative Internet of Things (IoT) services that leverage Nodle’s Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network (DePIN). To start, Nodle will leverage its DePIN made of hundreds of thousands of smartphones to enhance the asset locations of Watu’s fleet of two and three-wheeler motorbikes (called boda boda in East Africa).

The Nodle DePIN is energy-efficient, secure and cost-effective. It does not require investment in expensive telecommunications hardware and it provides wider coverage and more precise location than other IoT solutions due to the ubiquity of smartphones and their geolocation capabilities.

Watu helps to bridge the gap between people and access to flexible financing, helping them build a better future. Boda bodas are not only a vital last-mile means of transportation, but also a major source of employment and economic independence.

The company’s strategic partnership with Nodle will kick off with an initiative to help Watu provide a real-time location for the boda bodas it finances. This helps to protect owners in case of theft and supports the Watu business model, which provides loans to the unbanked and others who lack access to traditional credit.

The collaboration will start in Uganda this month and later expand to KenyaTanzaniaNigeriaSierra Leone, DR Congo and other territories. With this partnership, Watu can tap into Nodle’s capabilities in cryptography, mobility, device authentication and blockchain, while Nodle can leverage Watu’s expertise to deliver large-scale services across Africa and in other emerging markets.

“We are pleased to help Watu on its mission of empowering entrepreneurs to improve their lives through asset financing,” said Micha Benoliel, CEO and co-founder at Nodle. “Demand for the Nodle app in emerging markets is rapidly rising as users find new ways to leverage their smartphones. Our partnership will significantly boost the deployment of the Nodle Network in Africa, where smartphones are expected to account for 88% of mobile connections by 2030, up from around 50% today.”

Gunars Bidins, Head of GPS Tracking at Watu, added: “We’re thrilled to partner with Nodle. This collaboration allows us to track our asset fleet more efficiently and cost-effectively, ensuring the safety and security of our assets across our expanding African operations. The scalability and flexibility of the Nodle network are a perfect fit for our needs, and we believe this partnership has the potential to revolutionize asset tracking in Africa.”

This partnership between Watu and Nodle is a milestone in leveraging smartphones as an infrastructure to deliver innovative IoT solutions. It is expected to inspire further innovation at Watu and to encourage new partners to use the Nodle network to create new solutions that leapfrog traditional network infrastructure and benefit people and businesses across evolving Africa.

Solutions based on the Nodle network blockchain already in use around the world include authenticating digital content, such as photos and video, to fight misinformation; monitoring shipping pallets and other high-value assets; locating vehicle fleets for corporations; and locating stolen assets, like cars, for insurance providers.

Photo courtesy of Rod Waddington.

Source: PR Newswire (link opens in a new window)

blockchain, electric vehicles, Internet of Things, partnerships