Asiimwe Colin, until recently the Head of Marketing at Multichoice Uganda has been snapped up by digital money firm, Wave Mobile Money Uganda as its Marketing Lead, CEO East Africa Magazine can exclusively reveal.
According to very close sources in the industry, as Marketing Lead, Colin, will be in charge of “market transformation, above the line marketing, digital communications, corporate affairs and below the Line marketing,” amongst others.
Wave, which started from Senegal in West Africa, and is now in Cote D’Ivoire and Uganda amongst others, in October 2021, got a license got a Payment Service Provider from Bank of Uganda to among others carry out digital money services- cash deposits, withdrawal, and peer-to-peer and business payments.
Recently the company raised USD200 million in a Series A round from investors, pushing its valuation to well over, USD1.7 billion. Sequoia Heritage, a subsidiary of Sequoia Capital, led the round with the participation of Founders Fund, Stripe, and Ribbit Capital. Wave’s other investors include Partech Africa, and Sam Altman, the CEO of Y Combinator.
This makes it Africa’s newest unicorn and the first from Francophone Africa—and the third startup to cross the billion-dollar mark in 2021, after Flutterwave, and OPay.
But perhaps more importantly, the fresh capital infusion is a much-needed game-changer as the new player seeks to wrestle market share from the continent’s big boy telcos such as MTN Group, Airtel Africa and Safaricom whose play in mobile money is deeply entrenched.
For example, with a Class A (Large Electronic Money Issuers) license in Uganda, Wave will be jostling for wallet and mindshare in a largely oligopolistic market, dominated by MTN Mobile Money and Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited who do not only have deep pockets but are deeply entrenched in the market.
MTN, the market leader, has over 120,000 mobile money agents and approximately 8.5 million active 30-day mobile money subscribers. It is believed to control about 54% of the market share.
Wave which in Uganda is led by Nicholas Kamanzi, the ex-Head of Payments at Safe Boda will have to bank on people like Colin whose deep market experience, particularly with telecoms, for practical market entry and penetration.
Who is Asiimwe Colin?
It is not clear when he joins Wave, but we do know that on 04th March 2022, Multichoice hosted him to a farewell dinner.
Before Multichoice, Asiimwe, was a well-respected Adman- having worked at Creative at VMLY&R, an integrated marketing agency in Kenya where he was the Head of Strategy and Planning.
He cast his advertising roots in advertising at Scanad Uganda- the WPP ScanGroup’s Uganda unit where he was an Account Director between November 2011 and November 2012. He then headed to QG Group Uganda (Saatchi & Saatchi) as Client Services Director between November 2012- October 2014, before proceeding to become the Uganda Country Manager for Tonic International (a creative advertising & branding agency out of Dubai) for a year.
Between January 2016 and July 2018, he worked at Metropolitan Republic, first as Head of Strategy and then later as Head of Strategy and Digital.
In July 2018 he left for Nairobi to take on the role of Head of Strategy & Planning at Creative VMLY&R.