Nigerian startup Simplifyd, which wants to become the platform of choice for data-free access to the internet across Africa, has raised US$500,000 in pre-seed funding and announced the launch of ZeroData, its toll-free internet application platform.
Founded by Tomi Amao, Mayowa Amao, Sam Keiru and Abiola Fajimi in 2020, Simplifyd aims to solve the challenges associated with accessing affordable data amidst the staggering rate of data consumption, especially amongst mobile and web app users in emerging markets across Africa.
The startup has raised over US$500,000 in pre-seed funding from Future Africa and Y Combinator, the cash from the latter coming after Simplifyd was selected for the W22 batch of the renowned Silicon Valley-based accelerator alongside a host of other African startups.
It has also announced the launch of ZeroData, which co-founder and CEO Tomi Amao said was created out of a strong desire to solve Africa’s worrying data affordability challenge, alongside the drive to support greater digital inclusion across the continent.
“ZeroData is designed to cater to both users with active data plans and those with none. For users with an active data plan, their data plan isn’t consumed when they make use of the application. Our app also enables users with no active data plans to enjoy uninterrupted access to the internet apps listed on the platform,” he said.
“For us, the realisation that Africans pay the highest rate for mobile internet in the world proportional to income is worrying. This is a significant challenge that we are happy to solve sustainably through the launch of ZeroData. We are creating a convenient platform to access the internet away from the challenge of huge data consumption for the continent’s growing number of Internet users.”
Users will only need to download the ZeroData app, available for mobile (Android) and desktop (MacOS and Windows). This provides them with instant data-free access to listed apps and websites. The ZeroData platform also allows businesses to bundle data with their apps for the purpose of making them accessible and data-free to those who need it most.