The story of Sam Mutuura a techprenuer is one of a go getter who sported gap in the tech industry to start a multi million company that provides bulk SMS services.
Armed with Sh5 million from his savings and family contributions, Mr Mutuura established the firm that designs, develops and interfaces SMS-based services, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) applications, as well as smart apps and platforms around Software as a Service (Saas).
Speaking to Business Daily, Sam stated that he set up Cross gate solutions (CGS) in 2013 to fill up a gap he says he identified 10 years ago while working in the telecommunication field.
Mr Mutuura runs the company alongside co-founder George Njuguna and co-director Kiunga Mwenda.
The firm now provides employment to about 21 young graduates. This is a big statement on the growth of the firm whose full time employees were only Mr Mutuura and his co-founder when they started.
CGS has grown exponentially to see its clientele base rise and some of its clients include Kingdom Bank formerly Jamii Bora Bank, and Metropol Credit Reference Bureau and Karen Hospital. Others are the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as Kenyan Alliance Insurance.
Mutuura seems to have gotten it right as 7 years down the line, the company has grown to offer bulk SMS services as well as mobile banking services. The firm utilises premium-based short codes to allow micro transactions to happen without the need for actual cash.
Currently in a month CGS trades up to 50 million SMS serving it’s over 4 million clients.
Already the firm is expanding and coming up with more innovative ways to serve clients better and introduce new services.
Currently, it is in the process of completing a USSD plus app which it says has a unique innovative edge. The app, called Tulia, will allow its users not to disclose their names and mobile numbers when sending, buying goods and withdrawing money via their mobile money wallets, therefore making payments without compromising privacy and sensitive data.
“The obligation to pay for a service should not be tied with an obligation to reveal private information, where only the transaction ID should suffice. This is the gap that Tulia was created to fill, and we’ve started with USSD registrations on the number *421*2#,” he says.
Before starting the company, Sam Mutuura says he was working at rapid Communications a telecommunication service provider.
The Information Communication Technology graduate from Strathmore University also said he worked for Quicktel Company in Nairobi about 6 years ago.
His decision to quit his job and start his own company has paid off and Sam Mutuura has no regrets when he looks back.
In the next five years Mutuura aims at breaking barriers in in the value chain, areas like mobile value added services for agritech, lack of credit, mobile consumer education and lack of trust models within the digital space.
He already has gained footing in the international market and CGS is currently working with other telecoms in the region such as Vodacom in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where they have invested over Sh30 million.