Nodle + Watu: Bringing Financial Inclusion, Driving Mobility and Enhancing Prosperity

Nodle  has entered a strategic partnership with Watu, an asset financing company that enables entrepreneurs across Africa. It  helps people build a better future for their families and communities by providing affordable and flexible financing for two and three-wheeler motorbikes (called boda boda in East Africa). Boda bodas are not only a vital last-mile means of transportation solution across the continent, but also a major source of employment and economic independence.

Nodle will leverage its DePIN, which is made of hundreds of thousands of smartphones, to enhance Watu’s fleet of motorbikes' location of assets.

Who's Watu?

Watu is an asset financing company revolutionizing financial inclusion across Africa.

**"Watu means 'people,' and people are at the core of everything we do" – **that’s Watu’s motto.

The company is building an ecosystem for unbanked and underserved individuals by providing access to mobility and connectivity tools that enhance digital literacy, economic growth, quality of life, and opportunity.

Boda bodas are swift, affordable, and easily accessible for transporting people to their destinations. They offer significant support to small business owners who save substantially by using them for transporting goods nationwide.

The ultimate aspiration is to own your own boda boda, but this dream is often unattainable due to insufficient capital and limited access to credit. As a motorcycle taxi rider in Uganda, your daily earnings should cover your basic needs and leave you with some savings. However, many end up leasing from 'landlords' who demand huge percentages of their hard-earned money. Between providing for their families and making these payments, most riders can barely make ends meet.

Watu believes everyone deserves the opportunity to enhance their livelihood and achieve their goals. So much, it has provided over 1 million loans across 7 African countries. As a result, it has meaningfully improved employment and created opportunities, positively impacting millions of people across the continent.

What does this partnership involve?

Photo courtesy of Watu
Photo courtesy of Watu

The company’s strategic partnership with Nodle will kick off with an initiative to help Watu provide real-time location of the "boda bodas" it finances. This initiative will help protect owners in case of theft and support the Watu business model of loans for the unbanked and those otherwise unable to access credit.

The collaboration will start in Uganda this month and later expand to Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, and other territories. With this partnership, Watu can tap into Nodle's capabilities in cryptography, mobility, device authentication, and blockchain, while Nodle can leverage Watu's expertise to deliver large-scale services across Africa and in other emerging markets.

“The service provided for Watu demonstrates the benefits that a DePIN can provide. As the network is crowdsourced, new services can be deployed quickly and in a cost-effective manner" said Florent Stroppa, Chief Product Officer at Nodle.

The Watu asset-location solution will be built on the Nodle Network, which is energy-efficient, secure, and cost-effective. It does not require investment in expensive telecommunications hardware and it provides broader coverage and more precise location than other IoT solutions due to the expanding ubiquity of smartphones and their advanced geolocation capabilities.

The Results: Economic and Social Progress for Millions of African Citizens

”Nodle is the world’s first DePIN designed to create a digital trust network for social good. We are pleased to help Watu further its mission of empowering entrepreneurs to improve their lives through asset financing,” said Micha Benoliel, CEO and Co-founder at Nodle.

"We're excited to partner with Nodle to elevate the quality of service we deliver to our clients across Africa," said Andrii Volokha, General Manager for East Africa at Watu. "This collaboration is about leveraging cutting-edge technology to ensure the security of our clients' assets. We see tremendous potential in this partnership to bring real-world benefits to their operations."

The collaboration between Watu and Nodle marks a significant achievement in utilizing smartphones as a foundation for pioneering IoT solutions. This milestone is anticipated to ignite further innovation within Watu and incentivize additional partners to utilize the Nodle Network in crafting innovative solutions that surpass conventional network infrastructure, benefiting individuals and enterprises across the dynamic landscape of Africa.

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