Tuse Apps Targets Insurers, Municipalities, Expansion Into Africa

The company is also targeting opportunities across the African market.

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The founders of Millbug, Sabelo Sibanda and Thulisile Volwana
The founders of Millbug, Sabelo Sibanda and Thulisile Volwana

 South African-based start-up Tuse Apps is aiming high.

The start-up is considering partnerships with South Africa’s lucrative insurance market through its solution that can save insurers and its customers millions, if not billions.

In 2016, Tuse Apps – which is owned by Millbug, electronics manufacturing company started in 2012 in Port Elizabeth South Africa – joined Silicon Valley’s Founders Space accelerator programme.

The start-up co-founded by Thulisile Volwana and Sabelo Sibanda is an Android app that allows people to “create wireless mesh networks using their WiFi-enabled mobile devices”.

Tuse is derived from the combination of the co-founder’s names.

A wireless mesh network is a communications network created through the connection of wireless access points at or near a user’s locale. The networking infrastructure is decentralized and simplified because each node need only transmit as far as the next node.

It enables users to send texts, transfer data and make phone called to other people in their network, without the need of traditional wireless infrastructure or network coverage.

Tuse Apps has developed a new solution among its many that enables municipalities, corporates and insured household owners to detect water leaks and spills across the country.

The solution was launched last week at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) summit in Durban.

Volwana is optimistic about the company’s new solution and its potential to add value to insurers and municipalities.

“We have engaged with a lot of insurance companies. They see our solution solving they problems with water leakages and tracking them. Our solution will save insurers money and their clients stress from disasters such as geyser burst,” Volwana explained.

According to World Wildlife Fund South Africa’s (WWF-SA) 2016 report titled Water: Facts and Futures… Rethinking South Africa’s Water Future, as much as “37% of water in our urban piped water systems leaks out or is used illegally”.

With agriculture having lost billions of rands and thousands of jobs over the last year of drought, we are reminded of Thomas Fuller’s words – “We never know the worth of water ‘til the well runs dry.”

One thing is clear: we need a fundamental rethink of our water sector and water’s place in the economy.

Tuse App wants to assist insurers, municipalities, corporates, factory and household owners to save water.

“We are engaging with insurers,” says Volawana, adding that the Port Elizabeth-based start-up is also in talks with various municipalities in South Africa to provide them with their solution to save water.

“We are starting to engage with municipalities to utilise our solutions. They are very excited. We will engage with Ethekwini municipality and have already engaged with Port Elizabeth municipality. We will also look at engaging with municipalities in Gauteng especially Johannesburg and Pretoria,” she said.

The company is also targeting opportunities across the African market.

“We are looking at going into the rest of the African continent. That’s where our water leakage solution is needed and at the ITU conference have engaged with representatives of the African countries. We have demonstrated our solutions to them and they are happy. They feel they need this solution.”

The water leakage solution is affordable as the sensor is just about R99 per sensor. The valve is R7,000 and is used to stop the water leakage immediately.

The solution comes with an app that detects and notifies you of any water leakage and spillage. The app is accessible anywhere in the world.

One wonders the solution is applicable to ordinary household owners, Volwana explains: “Yes, the user users will be household owners, but we want to go to insurers, companies, factories and municipalities to help them save money from unwanted water leakages. That’s our target market.”

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