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Econet’s failed e-commerce startup Tengai still alive, pops up on group affiliate’s website

Less than a year ago Econet Wireless Zimbabwe stepped onto the online classifieds scene with a platform called Tengai. 

Tengai didn’t last long, though. It received a lot of criticism for net neutrality violations, the site was attacked and a hackers outfit called Anonymous Zimbabwe took credit for the disruption of the service.

Tengai was taken down after that but resurfaced months later under a new name, Ownai – offering the exact same services as with the same zero-rated offer.

As it turns out, Tengai is still alive, well the brand name at least. It is listed, together with Ownai, EcoSure and EcoCash, on the website of a digital transactions company called Cassava as one of its successful partner brands. Cassava is a subsidiary of Econet Wireless Global.


The services provided by Cassava are related to Econet’s fintech ventures under the EcoCash brand. Cassava deals in mobile money, mobile remittances, mobile insurance and e-commerce.

Is Tengai Econet’s new e-Commerce vehicle?

The tie in with the brand name Tengai along with the e-commerce related services could be a suggestion of what Econet intends to do within this space.

Cassava cites solutions for online classifieds, franchising and logistics under its e-commerce segment. As Ownai, Tengai has already moved into classifieds.

This might mean that the next move for Econet is in franchising and logistics. Econet could probably be planning to use the Tengai name for an online wholesale and retail service and a logistics concern that deals with the delivery of those same goods.

Econet has been clear about its intenation to expand into e-commerce and it has listed this sector as part of its “Quad Play Transition” that will see the operator wean itself from an over reliance on voice and SMS revenue.

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7 thoughts on “Econet’s failed e-commerce startup Tengai still alive, pops up on group affiliate’s website

  1. That platform could take off well given the ‘widespread’ adoption of electronic money. Of course Econet pours the funding but until internet access is affordable and reasonable, that will be a huge drawback. Maybe zero-rating for Econet subscribers again?

  2. Seriously, your obsession with writing about Econet is getting nauseating, Is this article riddled with nothing but speculation even newsworthy?

    1. This ‘fluff’ article actually serves techzim two main purposes (imo)!
      1. Eyeballs – curious/regular visitors will open the page, scroll thru the fluff and in the process, tz serve ads, get paid full stop
      2. SEO – notice the first 3 paragraphs are loaded with links to other articles on tz without elaborating on the story. they are really there for google bots (et al). yes they just wasted a few seconds of your life to achieve an end.

      Also, Techzim get money through ads so, more posts means more views means more money.

      Does the extra bucks/seo points justify the sacrifice in quality? I think it does. Many blogs do it, so its worthwhile.

      What about the pissed off readers? They always come back! They always come back! They always come back!

      1. Not to start a war here… but if you are concerned about the money made via what ever means. Simply employ an add blocker, not that it changes anything in your world.

        1. Right with you there, the day l will stop reading techzim is when they employ anti-ad blocker tactics. I do not click on any linked stories and uBlock does a fantastic job for me 🙂

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