Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Number of employees: 16
Year founded: 2009
883 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
In emerging markets, almost all mobile telephone users have prepaid subscriptions. Jana enables companies to put airtime on people’s prepaid mobile telephones as a reward for various actions: trying a product, downloading an app, watching an advert, filling in a survey, signing a pledge, referring a friend, and so on.
For example, Danone in Indonesia offered customers 5,000 IDR (about half a US dollar) airtime as an incentive to buy a multipack of Milkuat or Activia. The customer could then validate the purchase on Facebook and earn even more airtime by referring friends to the promotion. As a result of the campaign, multipack purchases doubled.
Jana has agreements with hundreds of mobile operators across Asia, Africa and Latin America, enabling them to instantly compensate 3.5 billion consumers in over 70 different currencies. The airtime is immediately credited to the customer’s telephone and is considered by the consumer to be equivalent to cash.
Jana envisages its platform as a fundamentally disruptive technology in the advertising industry. Companies can move away from spending on billboards or mass media, and instead put money directly into the pockets of consumers who agree to engage with a product or advert – a model which promises significantly higher returns on investment.
The model also offers a fresh perspective on debates about data privacy, by making the transaction both explicit and fair: consumers understand their data is valuable to companies, and provide it willingly because the advertisers are able to pay them for it.