Hubtel Turns 19 Years 

May 12, 2024 | 3 minutes read

“Never be afraid to jump at the sun, you will never reach it, but your feet will leave the ground.” (Bram, 2017) 

And jump we did. The Hubtel story, often told, is a testament to the power of ambition and the lessons learned along the path of embracing failure.  

Origins and Early Wins: 

Founded in 2005 as SMSGH by Alex Bram, Ernest Apenteng,  and Leslie Gyimah, three ambitious undergraduates, the company started as SMSGH with a mission to simplify business to customer communication via SMS. The founders’ entrepreneurial spirit, honed through various earlier ventures, proved crucial in navigating early challenges. SMSGH saw quick success, making its first sale after five months and securing significant contracts within its first year. By 2007, the company was a pioneer, launching Africa’s first online SMS portals and alert systems for banks, reaching an impressive $1 million in revenue that year. 

Pivotal Transformation: 

Despite initial success, the company recorded slowing growth rates around 2013-2014, which prompted the need for a strategic shift. The company leaders participated in the Stanford Seed Business Transformation program in 2016 which led to the birth of the Hubtel brand with a new emphasis on payments and customer services. The Hubtel mobile app launched in 2017, aiming to be a “super-app” connecting users and businesses. Hubtel obtained approval from the Bank of Ghana to operate as an Enhanced Payment Services Provider in 2019, solidifying its position in the fintech space. 

Growth and Recognition: 

Since rebranding in 2017, Hubtel has experienced phenomenal growth, attaining a full license as an Enhanced Payment Services Provider in 2022 and becoming Ghana’s largest fintech by the end of that year. The company takes pride in its workforce, which has expanded significantly over the past 2 years to 650+ employees across Ghana, reflecting the company’s impact and success.  

The Hubtel mobile application taps into a vast market, with 4300+ restaurants and eateries, 632 pharmacies and shops, and 382 active riders in 8 cities across the country. This extensive network facilitates an average of 42,000+ orders monthly, serving a customer base of 10,500+ monthly.  

The Hubtel Legacy 

Over the past years, Hubtel has had a significant impact on various industries in Ghana, including telecom, entertainment, banking, education, retail, healthcare, and utilities.   

In the utilities sector, Hubtel worked with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) from July 2022 to plug payment processing leakages and grow monthly revenues by nearly 100% to GHS1.2 billion.  Due to this significant feat, in March 2024, the company signed a commercial agreement with the nation’s largest distributor of power, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG)  

In the education sector, Hubtel provides a mobile application that helps schools manage school fee payments. This has streamlined payment processes and improved the financial management of early childhood schools across Ghana.  

In the healthcare sector, Hubtel has played a key role in the digital transformation of hospitals. This has increased efficiency and transparency, benefiting both patients and staff.  

Hubtel’s story embodies the power of innovation, adaptability, and unwavering dedication in a competitive tech landscape. The company transitioned from a focused SMS provider to a leading fin offering a ‘super-app’ that facilitates everyday transactions. Hubtel’s emphasis on pivoting to meet market needs and overcoming obstacles serves as an inspiration for businesses in Ghana and beyond. 

Discover more of the Hubtel story here: 

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