Econet Spin Off, Cassava Smartech is Now Zimbabwe’s Most Valuable Company following its IPO on Tuesday

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EWZ is a subsidiary of Econet, Zimbabwe telecom conglomerate operating in South Africa and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Econet Spin Off Cassava Smartech is now Zimbabwe's Most Valuable Company following it IPO on Tuesday

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe’s (EWZ) spin-off, Cassava Smartech has created a multibillion-dollar company on the Zimbabwean stock market. Econet, the Zimbabwean telecom listed Cassava Smartech on the stock market yesterday after it announced the move in October.

To be clear, EWZ is a subsidiary of Econet, Zimbabwe telecom conglomerate operating in South Africa and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. EWZ is meanwhile listed on the Zimbabwean stock exchange.

Launched in 2012, Cassava Smartech is a diversified technology company. The company offers digital products in diverse business sectors.

Some of its products and companies include Steward Bank, an online bank and remittance service; EcoSure, an insurance technology company for cars, education, and healthcare; Vaya, a popular ride-hailing service; Kwese, the Pay TV and streaming platform.

The company runs several other products including a job outsourcing platform, a logistics business, and some educational platforms.

Cassava Smartech modelled its business divisions after several successful products. For instance, its EcoSure financial service was built based on the M-Pesa model. While its Vaya ride-hailing division borrows from Uber’s playbook.

The company has big ambitions and aims to develop robust services on the scale of Tencent, China’s humongous tech company.

Together, these businesses produced revenues of $249 million for EWZ during its last fiscal year which ended in February. Cassava Smartech is also Zimbabwe’s largest job creator, providing over 100,000 jobs indirectly.

Cassava Smartech Becomes Zimbabwe’s Largest Company

According to Strive Masiyiwa, founder and CEO of Econet, the decision to list Cassava Smartech is based on the fact that the company has actually operated independently of EWZ.

Although it was an under EWZ, Cassava Smartech has its own head office and its own board of directors.

Thus by October, Econet announced the split of Cassava Smartech and a subsequent IPO.

On Tuesday, December 19, 2018, the company IPO-ed on the Zimbabwean stock market. It listed 3,679,300,707 ordinary shares selling for $0.4380 per share.

Its share price has since soared and it now trades at around $1.49, a figure that is $0.04 higher than the share price of previous parent EWZ. Meanwhile, EWZ which had a valuation of $3.775 billion, sold for $1.45 per share.

This gave Cassava Smartech a valuation of around $3.867 billion. Thus, it is now the most valuable company in the Zimbabwean stock market.

The future looks bright for the company though. With a host of diversified services being created, the company is set to enjoy an endless stream of income.


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