Kenya’s Gaming tech start-up, Usiku Games, has launched the first-ever made-in-Africa video-conferencing application that offers users enjoy better quality calls with unlimited attendees, at more affordable prices.
“Gumzo”, which means chatting in Swahili offers the service free for users to attend meetings, and only costs Sh100 per week for those who want to host their own meetings. Users are able to pay via Mpesa.
The web-based Gumzo system is also one of the most secure platforms with all calls encrypted ensuring that users’ calls are private and protected. Eight weeks is the amount of time it took for the first African-made video conferencing system to be created.
Gumzo uses local phone number verification and real-names to ensure a safe environment for the users. Meeting hosts can review the live video, name and phone number of each attendee before allowing them into the room.
According to Jay Shapiro, the Founder and CEO, of Usiku Games, Gumzo is Africa’s first innovation in video conferencing built by Kenyan developers who have exhibited a high level of skill in coding and system architecture:
“We are glad to have built this video conferencing system here in Kenya for the continent. This is a turning point in Africa’s innovation since our users will be able to enjoy lower rates, longer talk time and host many people at the same time without worrying about their security. We have invested heavily on security and creating a better experience compared to the overseas competition.
Shapiro also emphasized that users will enjoy better quality calls, due to the low latency of the high-speed broadband in Africa. “This is supported by the fact that our servers are right here in Africa, which allow for quick and seamless connections. The competition all host their servers in China / USA, so their video signals must go halfway around the planet via undersea cables, which takes time and degrades the call quality” he added.
The video conferencing system will also enable African countries to retain fees in local economies.
While Zoom has a free version for group calls that are less than 40 minutes, then $14.99 (Kes 1,603) a month for small teams, Guzmo offers unlimited conference calls with any number of participants for Kes 100 a week.