Fundraising Cohort Program May/June 2022GFA Spotlight

GFA Spotlight: Gist Mobile (GetFundedAfrica May/June Fundraising Cohort Edition)

About the Founder(s)

Aramide Adebanjo and Ola Ikotun are the co-founders of Gist Mobile, CEO and COO respectively. Gist Mobile stands for Global coverage, Instant connectivity, Sustainable technology, and Transparent services. It is a global digital app, capable of virtually proving mobile data plans across 120+ countries and up to four local & international numbers on a single device without the need for a SIM card. It is the first app service to offer customers virtual numbers and data on the same platform.

Aramide has formal training in communications systems engineering. Prior to launching Gist Mobile, he worked as a technology management consultant in the ICT and cloud industries, supporting major transformation and change management projects. What drives him constantly is the saying, “Success is rented and not owned, and that rent is due every day.” He also describes himself as a big dreamer who believes in the power of technology to accelerate growth. Beyond Gist Mobile, he can be found engaged in an assortment of hobbies – music, cars, sports, art, books, movies, and martial arts.

On the other hand, Ola’s background in computer systems engineering & computer science has enabled him to garner significant expertise as an IT consultant, specialising in the internet of things, unified communications and cloud solutions. He is passionate about innovations and solutions that not only empower but also improve lives. Ola also strives to enhance the living standards of Africans in global technology and the equality of all humans. He marches to his favourite motto: “It’s not how good you are; it’s how good you want to be.” When he is not working, he likes spending time with family and supporting his favourite football team.

Both co-founders bring their combined skills, experience and passions to bear at Gist Mobile.

About Gist Mobile

Aramide nearly missed his flight back to the UK because he was unable to remove a loaned Nigerian SIM. After asking around to no avail, a kind lady lent her earring which did the job, and he returned the SIM to his brother. This occurred in 2019. Aramide felt there had to be a better way for users to connect to a destination country’s cellular network without having to swap out SIMs. The SIM card had largely remained unchanged for over 30 years despite innovations in technology. The time felt right to be an early adopter to improve the ease with which users accessed their mobile networks. eSIM technology offers a way to completely digitalize the onboarding process for getting subscribers online.

Gist Mobile addresses the SIM swap problem by providing mobile data and numbers virtually, sourced through its strong partnerships with local cellular operators in over 120+ countries. Users will be able to purchase affordable pre-paid data and voice plans for their destination countries seamlessly and instantly get connected. Inserting SIMS into phones or dealing with high roaming costs will no longer be an issue as cellular services are provided at competitive local rates in a completely digital manner. Subscribers can now utilize a cost-effective, secure, instant and convenient way to connect their existing apps and services online.

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The company intends to democratize telecommunications across developing markets, disrupt the norm and provide affordable access to cellular services for users. In addition, it plans to lead the eco-technology drive to a more sustainable world, completely rid of 4.6 billion plastic SIMs in circulation.

Despite COVID-19 and its negative ripple effects globally, at inception Gist Mobile built its first app iteration to provide virtual mobile numbers service from three countries. This was launched in Nigeria for product testing and feedback from users. The virtual numbers worked as an over-the-top service on users’ devices by using their existing data service. The service got enough traction and currently boasts more than 15, 000 registered users on its app and 15, 000 followers on its social media channels primarily due to organic growth. The two-year-old company is a passionate team of seven, with a multi-diverse skill set and continues to thrive in the same space as its competitors – Devyce, Airalo, Yesim, etc. None of the existing app services in the marketplace currently provide data and virtual numbers from a single platform; Gist Mobile will be the first app virtual network operator (appVNO) to do so.

Expansions plans for the company include increasing its reach into more countries as well as incorporating additional, exciting mobile services in other sectors through innovative partnerships already in the pipeline.

In five years, Aramide and Ola see Gist Mobile as a multimillion-dollar company at the forefront of the enhanced connected life for subscribers and leading the digital transformation for mobile connectivity.

They would like Gist Mobile to be recognised for living up to its name, disrupting & challenging the status quo in Africa and other developing markets, and leading the telco digital revolution where users can truly have control, affordability, and convenience when they consume their mobile services.

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