Safricom Alpha, the Kenyan telco’s innovation wing has had its ups and downs and now it is being reported that it has an “uncertain future”
According to TechCrunch, sources tell the publication that they expressed doubt that it will have the support within the company to continue with Bob Collymore’s passing.
Another source also told the publication that they will likely be morphed into the larger Safaricom bureaucracy rather than be shut down completely to avoid negative news that an abrupt closure would bring.
This news comes after we have seen a string of high level departures from Safaricom Alpha. Huston Malande, former Safaricom Alpha’s Senior Product Designer announced his departure from the department. Mr Malande praised his former department saying it was one of the “best innovation teams on the continent” but it was “fun while it lasted.” Later on, he shed light on this statement where he said that a lot of things were still in flux and he found it premature to publish anything at this point.
Huston’s departure was not the only high level profile exit from Safaricom Alpha. In September last year, Alpha’s head, Mr Kamal Bhattacharya left the department in unclear circumstances.
Safaricom Alpha is known for releasing the Bonga app that was later on renamed to Zwupp that combined deep integration of MPESA and messaging features. We are yet to see another app being released by the department and now with the future of Alpha hanging in a limbo, this may never be the case.