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Investments

Viamo

  • LocationMultiple
  • SectorCommunications
  • Type of investmentEquity investment
  • Project stageTest & Transition

GIF is excited to announce a $1.5 million investment in Viamo, a social enterprise that improves access to information, education and vital services by making it accessible for governments, multilateral agencies, and civil society organisations to communicate with disconnected stakeholders through innovative mobile technology in local languages.

Viamo

The development problem.

People who have no access to knowledge and information, such as the internet, are limited in their social and economic development. By linking people to communication processes and media, Communication for Development (C4D) plays a crucial role in the development process. With low literacy rates, poor infrastructure, and high language diversity, reaching poor populations in developing countries is challenging, expensive and fraught with inefficiency in targeting the right audience and measuring effectiveness.

The innovation.

Viamo offers mobile technology solutions to mission-aligned organisations to help them design, implement and measure mobile engagement campaigns and provide life enhancing information that target populations in emerging markets.

Mobile phone network expansion and lower ownership costs over the last decade offer an advantageous and complementary new channel of outreach, engagement, and behaviour change for low-income populations. Mobile communication solutions can be delivered through several outlets, such as voice, IVR, SMS, USSD or digital applications that use mobile internet. Overall, the case for using mobile is for wider access and scale, speed and cost-efficiency. Particularly, in situations like the COVID-19 crisis, where the speed and agility of public outreach and data gathering is an important element of overall policy and public health response.

However, digital/internet-based technology solutions, while addressing some of the challenges of traditional communication channels, are limited in their outreach by data connectivity, smart phone ownership and literacy/digital know-how of end-users. Viamo’s breadth of technology solutions allow its customers to adopt more digital orientated communications strategies, whist also harnessing the power of more traditional mediums and channels to reach those most in need.

GIF's investment.

Viamo will use GIF investment to expand and deepen its operations and continue to develop and innovate its product offerings for its customers.

Investment objective(s).

GIF funding will help expand Viamo's work, particularly in South and South East Asia, and establish stronger consumer engagement (defined as increasing the number of callers and listeners per channel).


Why we invested

The main channel of impact on GIF target beneficiaries of those making less than $5/day is through Viamo’s work with its clients to improve poor people’s access to information and aid their decision-making, in a way that then improves their overall access to markets, goods, and services. GIF’s investment will help Viamo amplify the impact of many development sector innovations, as well as help improve transparency and data-driven cost-effective decision making.

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