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Comments (0) PIVOT East, Winners

Chamasoft Revolutionizing Chama Management

Chamasoft is an investment group management software that aims at streamline the operations of chamas. The software enables Chamas to overcome challenges they face such as lack of transparency, poor communication and the lack of a simple system where members can check their balances and receive automated reminders on group activities.
A  chama is an informal cooperative society that is normally used to pool and invest savings by people especially in Kenya. Originally, chamas tended to be exclusively women groups, but as chamas started to grow in sophistication and success, men started participating in chamas as well. In Kenya alone, there are estimated to be 300,000 chamas managing a total of Ksh 300 billion in assets.
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One of the major challenges that chamas face is the challenge of record keeping. Other challenges include; lack of transparency and accountability and mistrust. Chamasoft is trying to solve these problems using their web and mobile application which helps investment groups and chamas to manage all their group activities and communication.
Through their cloud based software, Chama members are able to view group accounts on a dashboard such as the withdrawals, transfers and deposits that are performed on the chama bank accounts so as to be able to track what is happening in the bank accounts, their group statements, how much they contributed throughout their Chama lifetime, penalties contributed and all other financials pertaining to the members and group.
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Chamasoft acts as an online treasurer for the chamas. It reminds members to  pay for their different contributions, sends them invoices and updates their respective statements detailing how much they owe and why they owe it.If a member defaults in paying for their contribution, Chamasoft automatically calculates the members’ penalty and updates his/her statement .
In April 2014, Chamasoft released Chamasoft Enterprise, which allows for banks and other third party institutions to integrate into Chamasoft platform enabling chamas and other users of the software to go straight to bank transactions allowing complete automation of record keeping.

Martin Njuguna from Chamasoft pitching during PIVOT East 2014 competition

Martin Njuguna from Chamasoft pitching during PIVOT East 2014 competition

Early this year, Chamasoft applied for PIVOT East, East Africa’s premier mobile startups pitching competition and conference which was held on 24th – 25th June at Panari Hotel. The company was selected as one of the finalists in the competition in the finance category. They emerged the winners of the competition in the finance category.
The company has grown over time in terms of users and even the team. They have increased their signups by 50% and also doubled their paying customers. They keep improving their product based on the feedback they get from their customers. The development team has continued making a lot of progress and have recently launched a partnership programme for other people, integrated with evernote to ensure easy recording and keeping of minutes, gmail , yahoo and MSN for easier user imports
In addition to winning PIVOT East, Chamasoft was the winner of the African Innovation Award, at EC4 Conference in Silicon Valley California. The African Technology Foundation with Evernote sought to look for promising African startups  and Chamasoft was the African Winner.The win saw Chamasoft team pitch during the Evernote Conference in San Francisco, California.The company also won the IBM SmartCamp which was held on 1st July 2014 at the IHUB.

Chamasoft is very easy to use, one has to log into the chamasoft website and register their group. They will then receive a notification via email and SMS. One would then be able to invite their group members to register and personalize their chamasoft account to indicate how often they meet, upload their current financial records, state rules for penalties and loan application files. To view full pricing details log into the Chamasoft website pricing page
For more information on Chamasoft, feel free to get in touch with the team via their email address info(@)chamasoft.com. You can also follow them on twitter, like their page on  facebook and connect with them on google plus for more update.

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