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Trust IaaS launches for African share economy platforms

Trust IaaS launches for African share economy platforms

AI and blockchain company UTU Technologies has launched Trust Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) which leverages trust (based on users' relationships) rather than ratings for sharing economy platforms in Africa.

Currently, sharing economy platforms such as ride hailing apps use star ratings to establish trust between transacting parties.

Trust IaaS uses data points to establish trust between merchants and users.

"The current state of digital trust is really sad, our whole system is based on star ratings and anonymous reviews that have little to do with how people actually trust - based on their close relationships and people they know personally. At UTU, our mission has always been to bring this human model of trust to the digital economy," said Jason Eisen, CEO of UTU Technologies.

UTU Technologies' AI engine is being used in Kenyan ride hailing service Maramoja Transport, which relies on customer contacts to establish a database of 'trustworthy' drivers.

"In the Nairobi taxi market where UTU has served up trust recommendations for three years through mobility application Maramoja transport, we've learned that personally trusted endorsements overwhelmingly dictate consumer decisions comparing to star ratings, wait times, and other factors. UTU's trust recommendations have also improved their sales conversion and customer satisfaction by 20% and driven strong viral acquisition," said Eisen.

"We've learned huge things about the nature of trust and how it impacts people's decision-making when hiring service providers."

UTU Technologies also raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Hong Kong-based AI accelerator Zeroth and aims to have its AI engine work for on-demand sharing platforms in Africa.

Zeroth is looking to push UTU Technologies to launch the service globally, following the Africa launch.

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