Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


SA based Zimbabwean teams up with South African to create Teta, a zero-rated WhatsApp competitor

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Over the past few years instant messaging (IM) has been flooded with services and out of all those services Facebook has emerged as a dominant force with its Messenger platform used by over 1 billion people as well as WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messenger.

Still, that doesn’t mean we won’t see any more new services trying to enter the game and make a name for themselves. One example is Teta, an application (it’s currently available for Android only) developed and launched with South Africa as its primary market that was

One example is Teta, an application (it’s currently available for Android only) developed and launched with South Africa as its primary market that was recently covered by South publication, the Sunday Times.

You can download Teta for Android by following the Google Play link here

Teta comes with end to end encryption(E2EE) and can be used for chat and multimedia communication. It also has a chatroom feature.

The one major point of difference that Teta has over other IM services, including WhatsApp, is that its users can send all types of messages including multimedia (video, pictures) for free as long as they are on Vodacom, the South African mobile network.

Teta does this by accessing a solution that was developed by Vodacom to provide customers for Absa Bank with free access to online banking services.The data consumed by Teta users on Vodacom is charged to Michael Unanne, a company created by Teta’s founders to develop the service

In-app advertising is expected to provide revenue for Teta and this will cover the use of Vodacom’s platform.

Though the app has focused on a zero-rated experience for Vodacom it’s still open to other mobile networks, with data charges being applied.

Zimbabwean and SA tech entrepreneurship partnership

The team behind Teta is a partnership made up of Themba Moyo, a Zimbabwean consultant who’s been providing IT services in South Africa and Lisa Phendla, a South African entrepreneur with a background in finance. The two have been working together since 2013.  

Moyo who started off as a miner in Zimbabwe before moving into IT is a self-taught programmer. He did most of the coding for the Teta application.

According to the Times, the two have also received mentorship from Andrew Mthembu, Vodacom’s former deputy group CEO. 

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13 thoughts on “SA based Zimbabwean teams up with South African to create Teta, a zero-rated WhatsApp competitor

  1. Just from reading the Play Store reviews, it seems like a lousy app…

  2. This is exactly what is wrong with this world, why is there always a need to create something that already exists? there are more than 5000 messaging apps on Play Store and you want to add another one to that list? can’t you just come up with a new idea of your own??

  3. Seriously? Whats wrong with Whatsapp that I would want this Teta on my overcrowded phone.

  4. local versions of global services is a very good idea, as long as the local solutions are not substandard. it unlocks local innovation and creates local jobs.

    the local versions can have a local flavor i.e local languages, easy payment integration i.e its like paynow (its the local version of paypal) . given a choice between paypal and paynow i would use paynow

    in china they have a local serach engine, local payments provider and local ecommerce and they are globally competetive. i have problems with how china achieves this by banning and blocking global ones

    i think a better way is to just put a legislative framework that promotes local ones with funding e.t.c

    if someone could create a local google that would be great, as long as it is at par with google or somewhere close. many will talk of the failure of sha (local facebook) that was poor execution and not so good a product.

    the main issue is u can copy and add a local touch but it needs to be a good solution not substandard

  5. If we have our local/regional Teta we can now easily control/regulate traffic and monitor content.

  6. In app adds, who wants to have their data consumed by those? The reason whatsapp is so popular is because they avoided in-app ads. Anyway, all the best to the TETA team

  7. local solutions are okay just that at times i have a feeling that our local teams do not put enough effort for the products to be at least at par with competitor’s.

  8. This is a waste of time. I think whatsapp is too entrenched to be knocked out so easily, they would have to invest millions in marketing just to get a decent userbase. Furthermore I’m very skeptical that inapp ads will be able to pay for all that data they’ll be using. I mean just look at how it became unsustainable for econet to have unlimited app bundles which they ended up limiting. $1 for a week of access to app, how long will it take to generate $1 revenue from ads? I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see this working out

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