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Tengai 2.0 on the cards as startup makes plans to re-enter the market

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On the 27th of July 2015 tengai.co.zw, a Zimbabwean e-commerce startup entered the market, angling for the very attractive online classifieds segment.

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Supported by a highly criticised strategic partnership (which later turned out to be more than that) with local mobile network Econet Wireless, Tengai looked primed to make a huge impression on local e-commerce.

Three days after it had started operating, things took a nasty turn. Tengai was compromised. What Tengai had called a systems upgrade turned out to be an attack on its platform. A hackers outfit claimed responsibilty and pointed to Tengai’s violation of net neutrality as the motive.

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It’s close to a month and a half since this happened (43 days later to be exact). All signs of a Tengai return seem to have been dimissed. There is no friendly “Work In Progess” banner on the site and Tengai hasn’t been entertaining any questions on the future of the platform.

However, this isn’t the end of Tengai. According to some sources from Econet, the Tengai team is working on a comeback. Though no date for a relaunch is being shared, efforts are being put into creating a secure platform. The sources couldn’t specify what sort of changes would be made to make the e-commerce platform more robust. The hope is that this time, it can fend off attacks from Net Neutrality proponents, or any other sort of hackers.


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21 thoughts on “Tengai 2.0 on the cards as startup makes plans to re-enter the market

  1. Look forward to seeing the service back up. I think Zimbabwe needs services like tengai to really bring e-commerce to the mass market. If Econet position it right, I think this could be a game changing product for them. Please keep us updated Nigel!

      1. Yes, but which ones have really succeeded and become as mass market service? That’s the issue and I hope econet, with their market reach and resources, can change. If they do, all other startups should benefit from the awareness of ecommerce.

    1. Why do you keep calling this game changing eCommerce it was a classifieds platform same as herald, newsday, webdev and countless others, no evidence of actual transactions from version one, this is no more eCommerce than it was an independent startup

  2. “What Tengai had called a systems upgrade turned out to be an attack on its platform” – Surely it makes sense to upgrade your systems after an attack?

  3. I think its a strategic move, by them, to delay the relaunch. Since they will be handling $$$, they need to promise security on the relaunch.

    It might also be that some ‘overzealous’ dude/dudess was in charge of the project and the attack opened their eyes as to what is really needed (over and above the html and css theming).

  4. Im not seeing any news in this at all! Anyone can site an anonymous source at Econet.

    There is not a single bit of infor in this story which make the Econet source looks reliable.

    The whole point why people want to remain secret when releasing information is because of detailed, propietary and sensitive of what they are giving out. It there any of that in this story??

    Please to not hide behind the usual “secret source at…” when you do not have anything to write!

    1. I don’t think they had any Econet source. This seems like Techzim speculating once again. When you have official news from Tengai/Econet, yet us know. Until then, we’ll wait. I hope Tengai is up again soon!

      1. Sometimes companies intentionally “leak” information to create hype(smartphone prototype & render leaks).

        But there’s not much hype that Econet can make on their product unless it was game changing. In some ways it works against them if it turns out to be yet-another-ecommerce-site(YAES)

        1. ” Tengai hasn’t been entertaining any questions on the future of the platform.” Im sure techzim wish they had more to report than mere speculation.

  5. Have a look at this web application I built that should more or less serve the same purpose to drive “e-commerce” in Zimbabwe by giving vendors an opportunity to advertise and sell their goods online. More like the ebay’s and gumtree or olx. Be easy on the criticism,this was built over a weekend but I was focused more on the concept and demonstration of ability because we have a lot to offer as Zimbabwean developers and the ability to turn the economy around is in our hands.
    http://evendor.azurewebsites.net/

      1. Paul,comment with criticism,or better yet, a better application. The definition of whiners is people who just complain but yet not offer an alternative to the solution provided. The link i sent has minimal test data that should suffice to just echo the model being presented at hand

    1. Whatever it was but its slacking behaviour from Econet wether they replied or not! They shouldnot be in this questionable situation if they had take their time and test product before dumping it to the market.

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