Liquid Telecom is getting more involved in the African tech ecosystem. This is evident through their partnership and support to tech startups and hubs that incubates them. Liquid Telecom has taken this a notch higher. The platform announced their new collaboration with Afrilabs is a platform with over 100 tech hubs across 30 countries in Africa. Afrilabs has a membership of more than 200,000 entrepreneurs. Through the partnership, Liquid Telecom will offer connectivity to all the hubs located in the Africalabs network across the countries that the telecom giant is present in. Moreover, Liquid Telecom partnered with Microsoft to give cloud services to the hubs. Startups across the hubs will also get a chance to access the Azure platform.
Microsoft is known for being enterprise-oriented rather than startups. This is not a bad thing though, but there has always been a disconnect between the startup needs and the proportion from tech giants that majors on the enterprise. The partnership between Liquid Telecom and Microsoft is vital to African startups. This is since Microsoft has a vast presence and following in the continent compared to any other provider of cloud services. Microsoft products such as Office are available on the cloud with Office 365 are the most known solutions for African businesses. Furthermore, Liquid Telecom is the largest Pan African connectivity providers. So we can say that this is an important partnership. But there is still doubt if at all Microsoft is good for African startups.
It is not long since Microsoft bought GitHub a developers’ go-to platform. The platform offers Microsoft a good entry into the startup scene. The deal was initiated through the partnership between Microsoft and Liquid Telecom. This is because Liquid has much of its focus on the startup industry. Liquid Telecom is mainly supporting its future customers and is strengthening the relationship earlier on. The move is a win for both the hubs and the startups. Startups got the name since they can scale up. The telecom giant is making the relationship before scale and offering support to the startups to scale up. Once the startups’ scale they will be using Liquid Telecom’s offerings and infrastructure such as Azure.
Each cloud service provider always wishes that they had been the lucky ones to have the relationship with Netflix and Facebook before scaling. Liquid being the next African Netflix or Facebook is making sure that the startups have the relationship they wish for. Most African startups are disadvantaged since they are not always in a position to quickly scale up they have to source for it from other countries. This can be challenging more so to the busy startups which are blank about bureaucracy and red tape that comes with cross-border networks. Being a Pan African relationship with Liquid will help startups to overcome a number of the challenges experienced by them.
Moreover, the telecom giant is offering training in digital skills to the startups in Afrilabs. This is important for hubs in their journey to achieving their goals. According to the Liquid Group CTO, Ben Roberts, Liquid Telecom is dedicated to scaling African startups. The platform has already supported many startups through its Innovation Partnership initiative. He added that the partnership with Afrilabs would help in pushing the platform’s initiative to the next level.