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Betting on Gamification, a Nascent Sector in Nigeria

Nigerian startup Hatixa has entered into a joint venture with United Kingdom (UK) firm BrandMobile to launch BrandMobile Africa, with the goal of creating a scalable ad-tech product built on gamification principles. Founded by Toby Nwanede and Habeeb Aremu in 2017, Hatixa initially focused on media productions before developing a product called PEEP that would programmatically deliver content to consumer lockscreens each time they tried to unlock or power up their devices. Ad-tech company, BrandMobile was launched in Denmark in 2006 by Brian Larsen, before being sold to iLoop in the United States (US). When iLoop closed in 2017, Larsen repurchased the rights to BrandMobile, and launched it in the UK and Denmark. The new BrandMobile decided to rethink its concept, basing it around gamification to increase response rates and return rates, and saw a great response upon its launch in 2018. Larsen sold the Scandinavian company in 2019, and has now partnered with Hatixa to see if the concept would work in Africa. BrandMobile Africa came into existence via a joint venture signed in January of this year, with Hatixa ceasing to exist as an entity other than to hold Nwanede and Aremu’s shares in the new joint venture. The new company says it has developed an innovative gamification ecosystem to boost brands, products and business. BrandMobile Africa exists to help Nigerian companies with customer onboarding and conversion, customer retention and loyalty, and data collection and optimisation.