Social Media


How mobile puts business at the tip of Africa's fingers
Jul 02 2012
TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, announces today 20 new members of 2011's TEDGlobal Fellows class.
Jun 07 2011

TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, announces today 20 new members of 2011's TEDGlobal Fellows class. The group includes the founder of SlimTrader, the first platform in Africa allowing consumers to shop for goods and services with their mobile devices; an investigative journalist working to expose the inhumane treatment of children and adults with disabilities and mental illness in the Balkans; and a Jordanian social media entrepreneur who is creating comics, animation, and games for the Middle East.

SOCAP Speaker Spotlight: Femi Akinde, SlimTrader
Apr 06 2011

Femi Akinde is no stranger of SOCAP. At SOCAP10, Femi presented SlimTrader as a part of the Mobile Fast Pitch where he was noticed by Invested Development, a connection that resulted in investment this past February. The entrepreneur, who’s worked behind some of the globe’s most successful telecommunications companies, is returning to SOCAP/Europe to share his work in mobile for the benefit of African businesses, families and communities.

Breakthrough Mobile Technology in Africa Receives a Financial Boost
Feb 17 2011

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (February 17, 2011)—Two companies committed to reducing poverty in Africa by expanding markets and empowering consumers have joined forces, providing a major boost to a breakthrough mobile technology already changing the way the continent does business. In keeping with its core mission of supporting innovative firms in emerging markets, Investment Development, an investment fund, provided a significant injection of capital to SlimTrader, a rapidly growing e-commerce firm that developed Africa’s first mobile-purchasing platform.

“Our investments are based on the premise that scarcity in emerging markets is caused more by distribution shortfalls than resource shortages,” said Miguel Granier, founder and director of Investment Development. “Technology is finally enabling a proactive approach to distribution, and SlimTrader is on the cutting edge of that coming revolution. As lead investor, we just bought ourselves a front-row seat.”

Based in Seattle, SlimTrader’s proprietary technology allows consumers to shop for goods and services via their mobile phones. It’s an advancement that’s helping Africans overcome continent-wide challenges in critical infrastructure and limited broadband access. Because of SlimTrader, wait and travel times for simple tasks, such as purchasing ferry tickets along Lake Victoria, have been virtually eliminated. As a result, business is getting done and the lives of the continent’s working poor are slowly but surely improving.

“Thanks to Investment Development’s generous support, we’ll be able to further expand our efforts to provide previously unavailable economic opportunities to Africans,” said Femi Akinde, SlimTrader’s founder and CEO. “Our mobile platform may be supported by a leapfrog technology, but it’s our value system that fuels the engine. It’s a value system that I’m happy to say Investment Development shares.”

Invested Development manages the BSP Fund, a seed-stage investment fund committed to supporting entrepreneurs with radically affordable innovations in alternative energy and mobile technologies. Our mission is to reduce poverty in emerging markets through risk capital investments in the most innovative start-ups targeting these sectors.

SlimTrader is a Seattle, Washington-based e-commerce service that enables companies and organizations to offer consumers the ability to easily discover, preview, and purchase goods and services from their mobile phones.

Shopping via Text Message: E-commerce startups are targeting emerging economies where cell phones, not browsers, rule.
Oct 06 2010

In much of the world, shopping online involves browsing e-commerce sites or typing what you want to buy into a search engine. In countries where Internet-connected computers are a rarity, a Seattle-based startup called Slimtrader hopes to offer Internet shopping via text message instead.

Just like a conventional e-commerce business, Slimtrader relies on interactive databases to handle product inventory, pricing, orders, and payments. But, unlike, say, Amazon, users can interact with this database via short message service (SMS).


New Mobile Technology Helps Passengers Connect With Pioneering Ferry Service
Sep 14 2010

Waterway Transportation Company Revitalizing Africa’s Largest Lake with Aid of SMS Ticketing Platform

KAMPALA, UGANDA (September 14, 2010)

Along the shores of East Africa’s Lake Victoria, a revolution in the way people travel and do business is taking place, thanks to the combined efforts of the pioneering passenger ferry service EarthWise Ventures and SlimTrader’s proprietary system that allows customers to search, book, and purchase the ferry tickets from their cell phones. Both projects are the first of their kind on the continent’s largest lake, and will help revitalize the economies and, in turn, strengthen the social fabric of the three countries that border it: Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

SlimTrader CEO Femi Akinde to Speak at the Annual Conference of The African Network
Sep 01 2010

SlimTrader founder and CEO Femi Akinde will participate in a panel discussion during The African Network Conference Oct. 30 in Santa Clara, California. Titled “Mobile Banking and Financial Services,” Akinde will join other industry leaders and experts in an in-depth exchange about the proliferation of mobile technology and its impact on the banking and finance sectors throughout Africa. The panel’s topic reflects the conference’s theme this year: “The Future is Entrepreneurship - The Future is Africa.”
The annual confab attracts a wide-range of individuals from both the private and public sectors including entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 business leaders, venture capitalists, investment bankers, government policy makers, and other entrepreneurial ecosystem organizations. This is the only event of its kind for entrepreneurs of African descent. It’s organized by The African Network, a Silicon Valley, California-based “global non-profit organization with the sole mandate of fostering entrepreneurship and technology among people of African descent.”
“I’m excited to discuss this fast-growing sector, and am honored to be a part of this year’s conference,” said Akinde. “The panel is addressing an important topic. As evidenced by the success of SlimTrader, mobile technology is playing an increasingly vital role in the lives of people throughout Africa. No where is this more evident than in the technology’s ability to making banking easier and more accessible.”
For more information on the panel and conference, please visit

Aero Introduces WebMobile
Jul 15 2010

Aero, the leading e-airline in West Africa has today 14th July 2010, announced the first mobile web and SMS ticketing service in Africa called “Aero webmobile”. This is a product that enables customers to book and pay for their flight tickets using their mobile phones. The introduction of the webmobile is in addition to other booking and payment options provided by Aero for the customers’ convenience.

New Mobile Technology Revolutionizes Access to Basic Goods and Services in Africa
Jul 15 2010

The Continent’s First-Ever Use of Mobile Storefronts Empowers Consumers, Widens Reach of Businesses

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON — In Africa, a lack of basic infrastructure, including passable roads and broadband access, makes simple tasks such as purchasing medicines or a bus ticket exceedingly difficult. Traveling long distances, waiting for hours in lines, and other time- and money-consuming hardships are common occurrences. Not anymore. SlimTrader, an e-commerce firm (, offers the first platform in Africa that allows consumers to purchase services or shop for goods with their mobile devices. Based in Seattle, Washington, SlimTrader seeks to relieve the burdens associated with life's daily necessities by providing companies and consumers with the missing link to these important transactions: easy and affordable access.