InfiniteUp: Tracing the Evolution of a Game-Changer in African Tech
Nash, a seasoned entrepreneur active in the African tech ecosystem since 2011, incorporated InfiniteUp in 2020. His vision was not to copy-paste successful tech models from other regions, but to create innovative solutions specifically designed for Africa’s unique challenges and unexplored opportunities.
InfiniteUp, expanded with cofounders Malaz and Wasim, pioneered a flurry of app-based experiments across Africa, each an opportunity to learn and adapt. BeHeard, an anti-corruption social media app, faced user reticence due to fear. Mindful, a mindfulness tracker, was aesthetically pleasing but failed to retain users. AOX, an online auction house, struggled to reach the necessary critical mass. Trust v2, a complete peer-to-peer lending platform, lacked an effective onboarding process, while Trust v3’s attempt to digitize businesses overlooked the tax evasion benefit of pen-and-paper operations. An affiliate marketing venture didn’t account for the limitations faced by Africans influencing Western consumers. Finally, Trust v4, a Splitwise-style savings platform, failed to recognize the prerequisite of a stable income.
Despite these setbacks, each experiment illuminated an aspect of the African market’s complexity. InfiniteUp realized the deep-seated desire among Africans for increased opportunity and access. The crucial insight, as illuminated by Mehwish Rafi, an Orbit Startup mentor, was the need to address the immediate financial needs of users. “Westerners often live in the future, thinking about retirement and savings. But in places like Kenya, the financial mindset has to be rooted in the present. An Uber driver may not even have enough cash for fuel for a ten-minute ride, they are thinking only about the present, the now-now.” Rafi said.
This understanding led to the creation of Doer, an on-demand job marketplace that aims to transform informal economies into self-sustaining local marketplaces. Doer blends technology with existing networks to boost efficiency without severing personal connections. The enthusiastic response from prospective users confirmed Doer’s potential to solve immediate problems while opening future doors to education, savings, and capital access.
Doer’s inception was influenced by Nash’s prior experience co-founding SafeMotos / CanGo, a ride-hailing app in Congo and Rwanda. The execution which led to a peak of more than 5,000 trips per day ultimately led to Nash’s disillusionment with the Uber business model, serving as a valuable lesson in the need to not follow blindly the tech giants but build on top of their lessons. Africa, with its vast scale and unique needs, remains ripe with opportunities for empowerment.
Doer distinguishes itself with a hyper-local, people-focused approach. The web app, built using the visionary FlutterFlow platform, launched quickly and inexpensively. User reviews, verification, and reputation scores instill trust within the platform’s ecosystem.
InfiniteUp’s collaboration with Orbit Startups, a Shanghai-based seed fund and a subsidiary of SOSV, and tech investor William Bao Bean, has been instrumental in its journey. Bao Bean, endorsed InfiniteUp’s approach from the beginning, saying, “InfiniteUp is like an artist, throwing paint at a canvas and seeing what sticks. This is the essence of entrepreneurship.” Nash is proud to be continuing the journey with SOSv, who have invested in every funding round he has ever raised.
InfiniteUp’s story is a testament to innovation, entrepreneurship, and adaptability, with an aim to redefine wealth creation in Africa. Embracing the challenges of transforming access to opportunities in Africa, Doer represents the future of technology-led purpose and progress—one tap at a time, with the potential of infinite upward growth.