Skyeye secures first for Pacific

Skyeye Samoa has been awarded $230,000 from the Global System for Mobile communications Association (GSMA) towards accelerating an application designed to change e-commerce in Samoa.

In a Pacific first, the company has won funding from the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Fund, for start-up companies who need money, technical assistance and partnerships with mobile operators.

That’s exactly what Skyeye needs to launch their app, Maua.

Maua intends to help consumers and vendors find each other, literally. Using GPS, users skip giving directions to the nearest coconut tree, and instead locate their customer or product directly.

Fa’aso’otauloa Sam Saili, Chief executive officer of Skyeye said his company’s mission is to make life easier, and cheaper for everyone.

Thanks to the funding, as well as $150,000 of their own financing, Skyeye plans to launch phase one platform by July next year, and roll it out fully by November.

On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Communications, Information and Technology Minister Afamasaga Rico Tupai said he feels like a proud father.

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“The GSMA is the biggest mobile association in the Pacific,” he said. “We can now say we’ve got the muscle for Samoa to take this to the world.”

A platform connecting their products to customers without any transport costs or childcare burdens could lift some women and disabled people in out of tough economic situations.

 “The key words in technology at this time is ‘bridging the digital divide,’” continued Afamasaga.

Government providing infrastructure for private sector to utilise is how his department is supporting companies like Skyeye, he said.

The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Fund is partially funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT). On behalf of Australia, acting High Commissioner Amanda Jewell said putting AUD$5.6 million towards the fund supports economic development.

For small technology start-ups, reaching scale, and partnering with mobile operators can be a challenge, Ms Jewell said, making funds like this essential.

“Innovation can help deliver development solutions that are cheaper, faster and more effective."

“We believe that innovation holds the key to adapting to the rapidly changing development landscape, and making an impactful difference on the lives of people,” she said.

Maua aims to meet six sustainable development goals, including gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and reducing inequalities.

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