The seventh edition of the MTN Business App of the Year Awards concluded with the much-anticipated announcement of the overall and category winners in South Africa’s most prestigious app development competition. The winners were announced at a gala event held in Johannesburg.
This year’s grand prize winner was Khula!, a supply chain solution for emerging farmers, connecting them directly to the formal marketplace. Khula! creates ‘one big virtual farm’ consisting of multiple emerging farms to crowd-source and deliver on bulk orders from supermarkets, restaurant chains and for home delivery. The full software suite includes an e-commerce web platform where clients place orders from farmers and an uber-type logistics solution that allows independent contractors to complete deliveries.
The developers of Khula! walk away with a trip to Silicon Valley in the United States valued at R200 000.
Said Wanda Matandela, MTN Business’ Chief Enterprise Officer: “Congratulations to all the winners. It is very exciting and encouraging to see the high levels of talent and innovation in the local app development space. We are also very proud to see the MTN Business App of the Year Awards growing in stature helping us provide a powerful and enabling platform for app developers. The competition gives us the opportunity to showcase these innovative solutions, and to assist these innovators in their journey to commercialise their apps, contributing towards much-needed job creation in South Africa. It is also about bringing home-grown innovations closer to the rest of the world.”
A panel of judges, comprising industry experts, app developers and previous winners, sifted through heaps of entries and spent two days quizzing the short-listed candidates. Following this gruelling process, the judges selected this year’s victors who join an elite club of previous winners, whose apps have become household names in South Africa.
In addition to taking the top spot overall, the Khula! app also won in the Best Agriculture Solution category. Winners in the other categories were:
- Best Consumer Solution: Pineapple
This is the world’s first fully functioning decentralised insurer, where members can enjoy transparency, get back unused premiums and have control over their own communities. All funds paid go into the wallet of the member, and this wallet contributes toward the claims of the community. Everything that is not used goes back to the members.
- Best Enterprise Solution: Cowa Bunga
Cowa Bunga Last Mile applies optimisation, security, communication and intelligent client-specific algorithms to the last mile supply chain. The platform comprises a management console, driver app and embedded customer tracking page, and creates a network linking clients to their drivers and customers. The platform is white labelled, allowing complete configuration to apply best fit supply chain practices for each client. Cowa Bunga is based on a solution currently being rolled out at Nando’s for home deliveries.
- Best Incubated Solution: Digemy Knowledge Partner and Besmarter
The Digemy Knowledge Partner is a learning platform like no other, created to solve some of the biggest issues in traditional education. By using a series of algorithms based on neuro-scientific research, the app creates unique learning curves for each learner based on his/ her knowledge of the subject before they start studying. By continuously repeating the right information, at the right time, the solution is able to increase knowledge while decreasing the time spent learning.
Taking top honours in two different categories, for the Most Innovative Solution and Best Breakthrough Developer, was the Bestee app, developed by 18 year old Emile Ferreira. Bestee is the world’s fastest and only offline virtual assistant. Unlike similar apps, Bestee uses complex machine learning algorithms to compute directly on each user’s Android device. Bestee completely outperforms other virtual assistants – responding instantly, where others take a few seconds to respond. Unlike other virtual assistants, she works offline, saving users money and protecting their privacy, wherever they go.
- Best South African Solution: Stokfella
This app allows group social savings clubs to transact and manage their funds on a digital platform that is 100% transparent, convenient and cashless. Through Stokfella, members can manage their payments, claims and meetings while having access to competitive returns and an opportunity to increase their wealth.
- ‘Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)’ Solution: Difela Hymns
The Difela Hymns app is a collection of hymns from the Lifela Tsa Sione Hymn book (Sesotho) as well as Amaculo a se Wesile Hymn book (Xhosa). The app does more than give users access to their beloved hymn books in their pockets – it also helps democratise the web by digitising artefacts central to African languages.
- Best Gaming Solution: The African Cyber Gaming League App (ACGL)
The ACGL app allows gaming community users to seamlessly connect to online gaming tournaments, receive instant push notifications, connect to live events and more.
- Best Health Solution: dbTrack
The dbTrack certified earphones and mobile application allow users to listen to music via safe, high-quality earphones that monitor the exact sound exposure in the ear, in real-time. The app calculates accurate sound dose per day and per week, adjusts sound to a safe level, and provides detailed historical information to track listening habits. It guides users on safe listening time tailored to their music preferences for safe, lifelong enjoyment of music.
- Best Education Solution: Xander English 1-20
Xander English Play is an educational app for young children that focuses on proficiency in arithmetic for numbers one through to 20. Counting and mathematics skills are developed through the app after users have mastered the basics in Xander 123.
- Best Financial Solution: Ctrl
Ctrl simplifies short-term insurance and takes the hassle out of getting and comparing different quotes. Everything is done through the app at the user’s convenience, eliminating the need for contacting call centres and generating paperwork to get quotes and advice.