The end of an era as crypto-powered payment app Wala collapses

It would be shocking to believe that there was a time in South Africa when a person could pay their electricity bills for their families residing in Uganda.

This was done with the aid of a payment app powered by Cryptocurrency. It was none other than the Wala app. However, the story of Wala did not end happily.

Even with the early traction in the facilitation of remittances and some other little payments for the underbanked in Africa, Wala got broke by the early quarters of 2019. The company laid off its employees and closed all access to its flagship app

All of these happened in February 2019. Tricia Martinez; Wala’s CEO published a blog post back in June and attributed the hardship of Wala to the poor infrastructure of Africa.

The End Of Wala

Judging from the interview granted by Samer Saab; co-founder of Wala, he stated that the latest regulations in Uganda and the undependable web infrastructure ignited an exodus of users from the once bubbling platform.

However, three anonymous sources who had inside knowledge of Wala’s operations readily told a different story from what the Tricia and Samer told the world.

Basically, the anonymous sources spoke with CoinDesk and made mention of how Martinez spent funds she took from the $1.2 million gotten from the ICO carried out in 2017.

They claim she spent them on very costly equipment, international travels and not to forget really posh accommodations like the spacious office situated in Cape Town.

With this news, CoinDesk carried out some investigations and confirmed that there were some very active user accounts even when the company shut down.

Nonetheless, for the fact that Wala already lacked a revenue model, it contributed to the swift burn of its resources even though it had earlier gotten roughly one million dollars that were raised from some investors such as Vinny Lingham’s Newton Partners

About Wala

When Wala was making waves in Africa, the company employed over eight staffers in South Africa alone and had so many ambassadors.

The company even struck partnership with some local payment processors all over Africa so that users could easily cash out in Fiat currencies if they want.

Wala ticked all the boxes when it came down to hiring the locals and generating live products for the users that were underbanked via the brands they completely trusted.

Reports from CoinDesk dropped some comments made by Llew Classen from Newton Partners.

He told CoinDesk that the Cryptocurrency market conditions of 2018 did not help Wala; this made them run out of money before the company could even try closing a new round. Classen further added that startups are majorly brutal.

Nonetheless, CoinDesk’s investigations suggest that the number of users that were being promoted by Wala was actually exaggerated.

This implies that, while Martinez claimed they had one hundred and fifty thousand users, one of the anonymous sources revealed that the number was not close to two thousand users with diverse wallets.

The source further explained that each wallet was given a small token reward in the setup process. This made lots of users to create diverse accounts. In actuality, Wala had just several hundred people that were truly utilizing the app for its main purpose.

To Sum It Up

There have been so many sources, though most are anonymous, that have gone ahead to contradict Martinez’s blame on Africa’s infrastructure to be the reason for the crash of Wala. They blamed the crash on insolvency instead.

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