Nigeria’s Free Airtime Start-up is Expanding to SA


You know a startup is on a path of steady growth when it expands to other countries, and that is definitely the case for Nigeria’s Sliide, the startup that promises users free airtime and data for installing its mobile application on their smartphones- which will soon be expanding its market to South Africa.

It’s not just about free airtime, the company provides users with targeted sponsored content and advertisements on their lock-screens.

“When a user unlocks their device with the app installed, it provides two relevant items of news in a very light data format. They are also served an advertisement, with Sliide taking 70% of the revenue, which it then uses to buy bulk data from operators to provide free (albeit limited) Internet access to consumers,” explains Sliide co-founder, Corbyn Munnik.

“The app tells users how much money they’ve earned. They can press a cash-out button to receive airtime, which is then automatically loaded by the network operator partner. Users can also load extra airtime, for example through the banks. A bank might want to get their app on everyone’s phone, so it might give users free airtime for downloading it.”

Sliide first launched in Nigeria in March 2016 after beta testing the service in the UK. It has already signed up more than 100 000 users, of which two-thirds are using the service actively.
The start-up has so far raised £1,6m through two venture capital firms, DraperDarkFlow and Singularity Investments.

“Users can download the app through the Google Play Store, or directly via downloading APK files, which is where the majority of our installations come from.”

According to reports, the start-up has recently appointed Stephen Carl, a former head of products and services at Vodafone Group as its Chief Technology Officer. In South Africa, it has appointed former MTNer Edward Wicks as its Country Manager.

The company also plans on expanding to Kenya and Ghana in the coming years.