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Seqela, a digital peer-to-peer saving platform, has launched its service in Tigray. Founded by Samrawit Gebre-Egziabher, Seqela’s equb platform introduces a new feature to the consumer fintech sector, allowing equb payouts to be converted into in-kind purchases.

The in-kind equb groups offer awards like furniture, TV, fridge, and laptop household items. Merchants act as the admin equbs who collect the payments. There is a down payment requirement of 20 percent to join these groups. While monthly payments are in place, winners must pay an additional 30 percent when they take the item.

Designed by Seqela Technologies, formerly HK Automation, the platform offers both public and private equbs.

Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

“Seqela launched its service in Tigray due to the longstanding reliance on equbs for savings,” said Samrawit. She added that the service aims to empower the war-damaged economy, restore stability, and integrate the population into the technology ecosystem.

She explained that it took over six months to develop the platform. Seqela currently has over 100 private equbs and more than ten public equbs ready for users. 

Private equbs are primarily formed in offices and organizations. To be onboarded as equb members, users must verify they have a currently running traditional equb. Once confirmed, users can join Seqela after receiving an invitation from the equb admin via text.

Like traditional equbs, Seqela takes a commission from its members, charging a 5% commission for public equbs. For private equbs, the startup’s commission depends on the equb amount.

Seqela has also partnered with Dedebit Microfinance, whose employees are among the private equb members. Monthly payments for private equbs can be made within the app via Chapa and CBE Birr.

The platform includes a lottery management feature where the admin spins a wheel, and every member receives a notification of the winner. The platform is available on the PlayStore, with plans to launch on the AppStore soon. Additionally, Seqela has secured an MOU with Birhan Bank to start the service in the capital.

Zemeo, an online platform that allows fans to request personalized video messages from their favorite celebrities, is also a product of Seqela.

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Daniel, a writer and radio host, has a keen interest in technology. Additionally, he has supported various organizations by enhancing their digital presence in his role as a social media manager.