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Ask HN: Which developing nations have interesting tech stories at the moment?
156 points by carlmungz on May 12, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 119 comments
I'm a guest host @ Software Engineering Daily & I want to cover tech stories from places which don't always get a lot of coverage.

India | Telecom | 110M subscribers on-boarded in 100 days

To summarize: Jio, which is our cellular telephony play, now is the world's largest cellular data network (pumping 22,000 TB per day) and onboards a million customers a day! We now have 110 million subscribers (in ~100 days).

This became possible when the telco regulators here gave a go ahead to use the Govt of India's pet biometric auth project Aadhaar[1] to accept electronic KYCs(proof of identity+address). A typical SIM issue took us <3m enabling Jio to issue 1M+ SIM cards a day in a developing country where printouts of PoI and PoA were mandatory.

This infrastructure as the physical layer coupled with the fact that India has 40% YoY growth rate in Internet penetration[2] has opened up a fintech opportunity in a $50B market that BCG and Google estimate[3] to be in the tune of $500B+ by 2020.

Disclosure: I work with JioMoney's product team in Bangalore. We are building the payments infrastructure on top of Jio and other telcos. We're hiring![4]

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aadhaar 2. http://www.kpcb.com/blog/2016-internet-trends-report 3. http://image-src.bcg.com/BCG_COM/BCG-Google%20Digital%20Paym... 4. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14030014

An interesting article on Jio from The Economist:


By their math, acquiring those 100 million customers cost 25 billion USD. The writer is sceptical that Jio will ever make that money back.

Personally I think it's awesome that an Indian billionaire is spending his money on local digital infrastructure. Even if Jio doesn't become hugely profitable, its network seems to be a boon to India.

They beta tested the sim cards only on their own Lyf branded phones which are some of the cheapest 4G phones available. They plan on releasing more phones, an FTTH broadband service, they already have movies and music streaming services, they have small portable wifi hotspot devices, there's news that they'll enter the D2H TV service market too. I think they'll make their money back with a combination of the hardware and services.

The competition has been the biggest boon for the public even more so than the services they're offering, forced every major network to lower their prices which I hope will have a good long term effect for the public.

I will be downvoted for saying this: Most of the subscribers were issued 5 sims per aadhar number.In that sense its really around 20 million subscribers each with around 5 sims in their name.And anybody can be sure that they aren't using all the issued sims.Also most of the subscribers have stopped using the sims after the freebies was called off.

I don't think HN would downvote you for having an alternative datapoint. =)

That said, you are right to a degree but the only multiple sim holding report I saw was Truecaller saying that 46% of its installs are people with dual sims. This was last year. I'd love to hear about your sources and proxies about 5.

That said, there are multiple longer run plays here:

- onboarding 1M/SIMs/day.

- pumping that much data volume/day.

- commoditisation of data packs.

- this is just the data layer of digital infra, value layers over this would be built in next 2-5 years. It is a sub percentage point of GDP growth if you measure not just the ARPU that Jio makes, but what every business makes here on top of this.

- productivity growth is hard to measure in terms of short run revenue of one company. This is digital infrastructure akin to roadways, railroads and electricity.

It should be noted that this was achieved by giving 6 months of 4G data (1GB/day at > 6Mbps) + free telephony, for a mere $6.

Things should normalize once the freebies stop; Jio however will have a massive collection of Indians Biometric identities (and much else skimmed off of "Big Brother" Aadhar) and their browsing habits, which we currently have no idea how they'll exploit. Worse, we have no regulation over Aadhar's data-sharing, nor over the privacy of citizens.

India's state telephony company now injects ads into non-HTTPS sites, and tracks users using the services of a private company. Considering Ambani's complete lack of basic ethics, one can be sure that they'll be much more clever with it than the generic dolts at BSNL.

> Jio however will have a massive collection of Indians Biometric identities

Citation or shut up. I'm no fan of Aadhar but even a cursory look into it's authentication shows that it does not share this information with services. It only acts as a o-auth like service.

Are you stupid ? Because it strikes me that you are phenomenally so.

While Aadhar does not share biometric features, by being an authentication oracle, it makes it trivial for any massive organization like Jio to build their own second-party 'verified by Aadhar' databases which have even fewer legislative regulations (if that were at all possible).

So no, "we" will not "shut up".

+1 for Jio entry. So far existing vendors like airtel,vodafone are robbing customers. We used to pay 250Rs(~4usd) for 1GB 3G/4G data. Now with Jio entries, prices came down to 30GB/250rs. Benefits the end-user.

Holy shit are those numbers real?

1M paying subscribers added a day? I'm guessing this is prepay with cards / top ups right? If so the cash play becomes amazing too.

Yes , all those numbers are true. Ever since I subscribed to JIO I have stopped switching off my cellular Data !!

Vacated all music out of phone memory for others useful apps. Now audio on streaming only.

"One rival executive reckons Jio is carrying more data than either China Mobile or AT&T, the world’s two most valuable operators."


I have not really followed the fintech much but understand the Telecom side of things. You seem like an expert on this space in India and hence my questions: 1. Do you think making everything Aadhar based is a good idea? 2. How much awareness is there about privacy issues related to Aadhar? 3. What risk do you see which would derail the $500B projection for Fintech in India? Also it wasn't clear if that projection was the total payment transactions or the market opportunity for players (e.g. commissions etc.).

A particular section (to which I belong) is quite afraid with the direction India is taking. Reddit /r/india has many discussions along lines that I'll summarize.

- Aadhar was forced into being without legislation or check/balances.

- The guy heading it is Nilekani, a not so ethical dude, who once ran Infy, and has quite a lot of influence with the right people, both in the US and India.[1]

- Previous admin. was likely planning on making it mandatory "citizen id", but was pushed back by the courts.

- Current admin. has magically turned back on their erstwhile opposition due to "a presentation" and have finally made it mandatory, for everything from passports, SIM cards, and tax refunds.

- Aadhar has no legislative curtailment. There is nothing stopping them from forcing the collection of my DNA, and then selling those to some insurance company in a few years.

- There is also nothing stopping the vogons in the Indian state (and the corporatocracy it serves) from getting hold of all my data... because you know "national security". Accountability is the last thing you'd expect of the Indian state; transparency probably being penultimate.

- This means that anyone who declines to be part of the Animal farm, can neither leave the country nor work there. Jaitley really screwed us over. Naturally this is dressed up as a "us- vs-them" "nationalistic" "black-money hunting" "anti-western/left" move, and this is what comments on Indian newssites reflect. Ironic that the system will be used to clamp down even harder on the people who belong to a English colony run by Brown sahibs, which has made it its goal to destroy every culture, language and religion that are its heritage.

- Next stop is likely the complete destruction of cash (and thus opposition), by tying it all back to Aadhar (which the parent is cheering for). Very very scary future.. will be moving out before the prison cell closes shut.

[1] India's IT Industry does not serve India; now that the outsourcing play is coming to a halt, many are looking to diversify. One way out is to secure massive contracts from the state.

"This means that anyone who declines to be part of the Animal farm, can neither leave the country nor work there" --- you mean 'either leave the country or not work there?"

You can't get a passport without the biometric id. The parent appears to have chosen the phrasing quite consciously.

I'll get back on this. Looping in people who understand this space better.

Wow - those stats are definitely impressive. What's the best way to reach you? Would love to talk more about this.

erbdex at G's mail.

In Colombia, we've gone from having no OSS Dev communities, to 5 world class confs in about 7 yrs, and many (local meetups (http://colombia-dev.org/meetups) thanks to the work of volunteers and community organizers.

We're trying to get a way from the first thing that comes to mind when you think about our country (even though Netflix is making harder for us, lol).

More than happy to talk about how it's been done, and how other developing nations could replicate the model and how it's benefitted the region.

Hey would love to chat with you about replicating this model in other developing countries. What's the best way to reach out?

you can email me buritica @ gmail, or DM @buritica on twitter

Yes, would be happy to get in touch. Am I right in thinking you're Juan Pablo Buritica?

India Fintech - the whole country was demonetized in November and there is a serious push to making the whole country cashless. This is a serious challenge in a country where e-commerce was predominantly cash-on-delivery.

To power this through, it's leveraging the new fangled Aadhaar infrastructure - which is kind of like "social security number with biometric data" and is triggering this huge polarising debate on privacy vs value. However, what cannot be denied is that the tech and regulatory landscape in India around payments has leapfrogged the world. The new NPCI (National Payments Corp of India) API is designed and intended to make VISA/MasterCard redundant...and is well on its way.

We now have a regulatory framework to unlock bank data to make anyone start a service like Yodlee .

Crazy , interesting times

P.S. We (RedCarpetUp.com) are a YC startup building credit-for-billions in India. I love talking about this stuff - never thought I'd see it in my lifetime. Ping me if you want to chat anytime.

> the whole country was demonetized

Some currency notes were declared as "no more legal tender". There was no demonetization. And it makes no sense to say that "the whole country was demonetized". :-)

> leapfrogged the world.

And why is that ? Because the powers that be decided to push it down the throats of Indians.

Lithuania: Just had it's first ever proper startup exit. Oberlo was sold for $20mil to Shopify. What is interesting - Oberlo was built without VC backing in 1.5 years. This is a good morale boost for local tech community, as Lithuania always tries to measure up to Baltic sister countries Estonia (Skype and many others) and Latvia.

I've been to Lithuania before, great country.

The startup scene in Pakistan is going good. Companies like Finja and Planet N Group have are launching fintech solutions. Markhor and Colwer made it to YCombinator. Nadeem Hussain is probably the largest tech investor in Pakistan who has invested around $8 Million in different fintech/tech ventures. Daraz by Rocket Internet is an eCommerce giant that should be mentioned. Find many startups from Pakistan here: https://www.startuplist.pk/all

South Africa is fascinating - contrasting bad news and great innovation.

Although there have been setbacks from recent government shenanigans the wheels of law are turning (albeit slowly) and the ruling Zuma faction is daily facing more and more resistance. In the meantime the weak rand makes SA cheap, and their interesting ideas enter the world market.

Amazon has a strong presence in SA - and (this is generally a little known fact) EC2 was developed in South Africa[1]

Locally, the Silicon Cape[2] initiative is aiming to create an environment where tech startups thrive, and has grown to 10k members in 500 organisations.

Ventureburn[3] has a lot on the startup scene in emerging markets, and a lot on South Africa in particular.

The limitations and challenges of South Africa actually drives innovation.

South Africa's (actually, Africa as a continent too) large informal and unbanked sector has led to a lot of fintech and mobile-banking related startups.

Limited Internet infrastructure penetration leads to interesting ways to solve, say, the last-mile problem. For instance Flickswitch[4] has focused on greasing the wheels for those within the IoT and M2M market who use the GSM networks to address the last mile problem (disclaimer: I am one of the four original co-founders of and exited last year after being there for 9 years).

Etc. It's a super market to explore, bigger than, say, Ireland, and more innovative than most.

[1] http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-amazon-exposed-its-guts-the...

[2] https://www.siliconcape.com/

[3] http://ventureburn.com/

[4] http://www.flickswitch.co.za

Reminds me of TheKeyboardCaper & Phrozen crew. Followed a tutorial on how to crack some Norton software via softice. Good old days :D

Yes! I remember reading TKC's tutorials as a teenager and being fascinated by his life story. I wonder what he's doing these days.

Interesting stuff, thanks. As a Zimbabwean I'm always envious of how tech-enabled S.A is.

Kenya has a very budding startup scene, mostly innovative ways of offering financial services to the unbanked: https://www.quora.com/What-are-interesting-startups-in-Kenya


My first SE Daily interview was with one of the co-founders of mymookh.com. Kenya is definitely a leading nation in the mobile payments space.

M-Pesa, which may have first been created there (not sure, just read of it used there first), is now in India too.

yes, as well as Bitpesa

Interesting, hadn't heard of that one.

The scene in Chile it’s really interesting. There is a well nurtured ecosystem of startups going on right now, with programs like STARTUP-Chile, innova and JUMP. With funding coming from government and private parties, who invites anyone in the world (yes, you don’t need a Chilean nationality, only that your startup is based here).

Here are some links with more information, hope it helps:

http://www.economist.com/node/21564589 https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/16/a-look-into-chiles-innovat... http://www.startupchile.org/

p.s: SED it's a great podcast! ty!.

Some stuff happening in Lebanon with government incentives and whatnot (and an educated but undervalued tech workforce). personally I've left that all behind me but I can probably find people you want to talk to if you want to talk to them.

something you may be interested in as an index to some stuff the central bank is trying: http://bdlaccelerate.com/2016/

The Guardian's chips with everything covered some of it recently-ish: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/audio/2016/nov/24/bei...

edit: just looked at the podcast, i see you've recently done middle east, oh well :P

I'm happy to chat with people who have a deeper understanding of Lebanon. My Middle East show was more of a general overview of the region. I'm hoping to dig deeper into some of the stories I've come across. Do you have Twitter?

not a very active user but will get notifications: @ahayrabedian, email's firstname.lastname@gmail.com (you can gather those fields from the twitter profile :) )

I mean, like i said, i've kind of left that behind me (only worked there for a year), but i can definitely put you in touch with people who are more up to speed.

Ukraine's IT industry is rather developed with still relatively cheap workforce. And there have been a few successful startups recently: http://www.uadn.net/2017/01/09/top-10-ukrainian-startups-in-...

The workforce is currently cheap compared to western countries because of the local currency's low value, and IT being one of the very few fields where people get paid in dollars. So as a result, what would be a low wage in the west is an extremely high wage in Ukraine (e.g. $1k a month = 25k hryvnias, which is 8 times more than country's minimum wage).

Plus, there's starting to be a lot of promise in Ukrainian startups - Looksery had a great exit a few years ago, and now Grammarly has just attracted $100M+ https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/08/grammarly-raises-110-milli...

It's not true that it is cheap because of the local currency low value: the IT wages were approximately the same when $1k was 8k hrn.

Ukrainian IT market is mostly outsourcing and does not depend much on the internal market and local currency, outsourcing developers usually get paid in USD (or equivalent) regardless of the hryvnia value.

There is a lot of work going on using tech to bring energy access to the 1.2 billion people currently living without grid access.

BBOXX are using the combination of developments in renewable, battery tech, big data and IoT to bring down the cost of offering solar energy to people living in the most rural areas of the world. Briefly, we use the above technology to enable a pay-as-you-go solution to energy whereby a customer can sign up for a small and affordable down-payment. We will then dispatch one of our installers to fit the system in the customers house and teach them about how it works. We will then remotely monitor the system over the GSM network to ensure it is providing a reliable source of energy. The customer then pays weekly or monthly using mobile money to keep the system enabled. The data-side of what we do enable us to prove to investors and financiers that we understand our customers and can control repayment rates which means we can continue to grow the number of systems we have deployed.

We currently have most of our units deployed in Rwanda and Kenya through our fully owned retail network but more recently have launched partnerships in Nigeria, Cameroon and Pakistan.

Interesting. Will be in touch, thanks.

Indonesia in ecommerce and fin-tech. There are plenty in the scene, but the two bigs ones to know are:

> GoJek - Fintech/Uber-like startup:

Raised over USD 550 million. They started out providing on-demand motorcycle taxis (called ojeks), but expanded to on-demand food delivery, cleaners, make-up, courier, massage, housecleaners, etc.

Their bigger play is GoPay. That's their e-wallet service that lets you pay for service you pay for via GoJek and also transfer money to other GoPay users

> Tokopedia - C2C ecommerce

They're a C2C ecommerce site with over 4.0 million product listings with 250 million USD raised.

Others to check out are Traveloka, Bhinneka, Bukalapak, Doku, Qerja, Talenta, Qraved, Fabelio...tons of energy and funding going around.

Morocco is now a world leader in solar power:


Thanks for the link.

Vietnam has quite a strong startup ecosystem relative to its development stage.

I think it has a lot to do with its government having laid out a plan since the 90s to develop its IT industry.

Results are:

1) Lots of IT grads 2) Lots of funding 3) Okay-ish infrastructure

If we add this to the interests in entrepreneurship among Vietnamese people, it results in a strong tech scene.

This blog post from Google engineer Neil Fraser made the rounds 4 years ago: https://neil.fraser.name/news/2013/03/16/

He traveled to Vietnam and observed a high quality Computer Science education in primary / secondary school. Talking about grade 11 scholars, he wrote:

After returning to the US, I asked a senior engineer how he'd rank this question on a Google interview. Without knowing the source of the question, he judged that this would be in the top third. The class had 45 minutes to design a solution and implement it in Pascal. Most of them finished, a few just needed another five minutes. There is no question that half of the students in that grade 11 class could pass the Google interview process.

TBH, I think I would expect grade 11 students the world over to be able to answer the question on display.

Where are you from?

I have seen university students in my German CS classes struggle to implement breadth-first search; I would by highly surprised if an average grade 11 student could write a program to compute the connected components of a maze in less than 45 minutes.

Dude, I am embarrassed. I didn't read the text properly and didn't realise it was a program. I agree with parent and you.

Vietnam has an amazing energy right now. Lots of enthusiasm and optimism among its people.

I know Malaysian companies that have back-offices in Vietnam because of the great talent there. The lack of English is a hurdle, but not impossible.

I'm from Vietnam and working on IT sections, thank you very much for the interested in. Yes, we are the developing country, lack a lot of conditions like developed countries, but we are on going ahead to cover and catching up with you, especial in internet, robotic, saas, e-comercial, social intranet and maybe AI too. Our company working as technology transfer company (Web Company). We are the partner of Bitrix24 in Asia for 10 years and on working as distribute and develope custom features base on Bitrix24 Platform (Social Intranet 2.0 for enterprises). Hoping have a lot of help from you, especial the support from the mature in working method (management, quality, refined, etc..)

A bit unrelated but perhaps a marker for a healthy Vietnamese tech infrastructure, Vietnam has produced a couple of relatively high caliber e-sports teams in the Saigon Jokers and more recently The GigaByte Marines who are currently giving American team TSM a hard time at Riot Games mid season invitational.

While I realize this isn't exactly related to start ups it is interesting because in order to produce and support esports teams, and especially true if the team is any good, a couple of things must be true.

1) Large population of adolescents/young adults with regular access to internet.

2) Large player base to produce quality players.

3) Money from sponsors who see it as a viable marketing venture.

The fact that Vietnam has been able to do this bodes well for them.

I'd love to put this to the test. Do you happen to know of any good places to advertise our open developer positions there?

I did an interview on the Middle East and North Africa recently and the guy I spoke to said similar things about the talent available in the region.

You can check it out here: https://softwareengineeringdaily.com/2017/05/11/tech-in-the-...

The first platform that comes to mind is https://www.jobi.tn/ (also a local Tunisian startup)

Hey how can I contact you?

Thanks for this.

allow me to vouch for Bangladesh. there are some good talents and opportunities for grassroots oriented development & innovation!

BKash is a good example. its a mobile payments company with equity interest from Gates Foundation & IFC/WorldBank. https://www.bkash.com/about/company-profile

then there is NewsCred, the leading enterprise content marketing platform. Based in NYC, it is founded by Bangladeshis, & have a dev centre in Dhaka. http://www.newscred.com

GrameenPhone was one of the pioneers in Mobile for Dev + Economic empowerment. Iqbal Quadir, founder of GP also founded The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT. (0) (1) (2)

anyone intetested for more info + discussions re: the field of ICT4D i.e. Tech for Development, I find the TIER group at Berkeley & their mail-list quite useful.(3) (4)

thete are other groups & countries that are also interesting. hope to get back with some more data once I locate them.

(0) https://www.grameenphone.com

(1) http://legatum.mit.edu

(2) http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/how-iqbal-quadir-...

(3) http://tier.cs.berkeley.edu/drupal/about

(4) https://www.millennium.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/tier

There's some pretty exciting stuff happening in the startup scene in Nigeria, most famously Zuckerberg's PR visit to Lagos a few months ago.

Konga (a Nigerian company) is trying to upset Joomla (a South African company) to become the Amazon of Africa, and co-working spaces are starting to sprout all over the place.

There are over a hundred different mobile payment solutions, not just in the micro-payment sector, but for traditional middle class spending.

There's also been a recent boost for Nigeria to get back into agriculture (~80% - 90% of produce is imported. Welcome to the Resource Curse), there are some entrepreneurs trying to approach this field with the advantages tech can bring to the African agriculture landscape.

I'm seeing quite a few Nigerians becoming prominent in the JavaScript space as well. I didn't realize English was so prevalent there but having a pretty well developed economy and speaking English makes me think there's a lot of good stuff to come from Nigeria.

> I'm seeing quite a few Nigerians becoming prominent in the JavaScript space as well. I didn't realize English was so prevalent there...

And Ruby as well. Don't overlook Ruby!

Anyway, English is the official language of Nigeria

A lot of African nations speak a decent to very good level of English. My home country of Zimbabwe has one of the highest literacy rates on the continent. I'm not sure about now but I know our education system used to mirror quite closely that of the UK in terms of curriculum, exam material etc.

Nigerian techies are making great strides in the sector, overcoming challenges the environment and the system poses on them to shine among their peers. Great efforts have been made in the ecommerce and fintech sectors, but I will also like to mention Andela(https://andela.com/what-we-do/) which is doing a great job training and exposing African tech talents to the outside world. There are other platforms of that nature now, springing up across the nation.

I'll be contentious here.

Andela's business model is to scout for young talent and train them as developers. They rent them out to companies in the developed world essentially exploiting the gap in wages that exists between the West and Africa. Not bad in the sense that it gives young people a job and exposure, but hardly an innovative idea and not a startup if you go by the common understanding of the term .

I'm joking a bit here, but I was expecting that Nigerian entrepreuneurial spirit to actually turn to the light side for a while now, so it's not a suprise that Nigeria is developing a thriving startup scene.

Before anyone says that I'm mean or anything, I'm Romanian. Our IT scene started with people pirating software and hacking servers left and right. We were banned from Paypal for quite a few years...

> Konga (a Nigerian company) is trying to upset Joomla (a South African company) to become the Amazon of Africa, and co-working spaces are starting to sprout all over the place.

I think you meant Jumia instead of Joomla, and it's also a Nigerian company. The South African company that seems to usually be mentioned in the same breath as these two and Amazon is Takealot.com which is a South African company.

Jumia is not a Nigerian company. It was founded by a Nigerian and Ghanaian duo but acquired by Rocket Internet a while ago

Wikipedia says[1] Jumia is headquartered in Lagos and also:

  In 2012, Jumia Group was launched with the
  support of Rocket Internet, MTN, and Millicom.
  In March 2016, Jumia Group secured over €300M
  of funding from MTN, Rocket Internet, AXA,
  Goldman Sachs, Orange and CDC
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumia

Well wouldn't be the first time Wikipedia would be inaccurate. Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Afaedor started Jumia in 2012 and got bought out c.2014. It belongs to Rocket Internet now long with its partners. HQ is in Berlin, Germany. https://www.rocket-internet.com/companies/jumia

May be, but at least it seems they're aware of problems in this case:

  This article has multiple issues.
  Please help improve it or discuss
  these issues on the talk page...
  - A major contributor to this article
    appears to have a close connection
    with its subject. (February 2017)
  - This article contains wording that
    promotes the subject in a subjective
    manner without imparting real
    information. (February 2017)
  - This article contains weasel words:
    vague phrasing that often accompanies
    biased or unverifiable information.
    (February 2017)
  - This article needs additional citations
    for verification. (December 2014)

1. Spain: the rise of bitnami 2. India: digital payment via paytm, 3. India: tough time for Amazon because of Flipkart 4. India: companies likeswiggy, big basket, etc redefining supply chain 5. The IOT disruption

Jio is already covered in previous comments

I live in Palestine, and I see tech sector is growing crazy. We have a couple of Startups who are doing great and we have a VC and funds. It never been better to be honest.

I am sure you will find a lot of resources about Tech sector in Palestine.

The tech story here in Bangalore ,India also seems very promising. http://www.innovationiseverywhere.com/bangalore/

For all tech news in Asia: https://www.techinasia.com

One more: the cab network of India, many different apps to book a cab in the era of uber.

China's an interesting story as the only place rivaling California in terms of funding and valuations. 131 unicorns apparently though not many seem to do a lot of business outside of China.

As some have already mentioned, Indonesia!

Gojek on its own is an amazing story and product. Its also a major player in a larger plot: Payments, chat, e-comm and on-demand platforms are being mashed together in an attempt to build china-style mega portals.

Its pretty exciting stuff. On the product side Gojek & Kudo are relativly unique. On the market side check out the recent Grab / Tencent / Ant financial investments and down the rabbit hole from there..

Let me mention Nigeria again( I already did in a reply to a comment below). This tech news site: https://techpoint.ng/category/nigerian-tech-startups/ does a good jobb of chronicling some(not all) of the startups springing across the country.

Gibraltar: After the initial wave of financial services companies came a proliferation of gaming companies which led to a bunch of payments companies setting up.

This has now led to a fintech industry evolving and is currently seeing a surge in blockchain related business.

Interestingly the cycle has now gone full circle and seen the launch of an Exchange Listed Bitcoin Fund....

By what measure is Gibraltar a developing country?

by no means. but it is a place that usually does not get a lot of tech coverage.

Thanks for this. I love hearing about tech in places such as this.

Nairobi, Kenya: New incubator http://metta.co/#visit could be a good source of contacts and interviewees.

Rangoon, Myanmar: A scene is forming now that internet and mobile phones have become widely available and affordable.

Vietnam: Lots of startups.

Thanks for the info. That Myanmar angle is intriguing. What is the best way to reach you for a quick chat?

Email in profile.

I could tell you a lot about tech in Brazil up to ten years ago, but then I stopped paying attention. It would be very shocking if nothing interesting is happening around here at the moment, so I hope someone who knows will comment.

Not at the moment, but when Venezuala finally turns away from socialism/communism and rebuilds itself; it will be interesting to see how well they can do in the tech sector.

Iirc Venezuela already has a fairly good (all things considered) internet access.

Semi-relatedly Cuba has some pretty ingenious innovation to get around the tightly controlller internet access including makeshift internet that closely resembles a meshnet. Would be interesting to see how Cuba would react to state sanctioned capitalism considering the population very much has been educated under the Castros.

the Other Valleys newsletter[0] may be of interest. Their description:

"Creative/technology-related news and ideas, that are by and large NOT from the US/UK/EU. Inspiration can strike from many other places (the multiple Other Valleys spread across the world), and I like to know about them. Now you can too."

[0] http://tinyletter.com/othervalleys

Nice resource - thanks!

Indonesia: Gojek Tech, It does have a very fascinating story to tell

Bulgaria, Telerik recently had a $270mil exit

Indonesia. Check out Go-Jek, Tokopedia

I was quite impressed with the Ciber City area in Mauritius, but not sure how well everyone there is doing.

When did you last visit?

A couple of months ago.

I didn't do much though, just had to drive around the area.

Ah, right. Have you any connections in the country?



prepaid electricity

Malaysia: GrabCar



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