UK start-up handed grant to boost free internet

UK start up Movivo is one of 12 entrepreneurial businesses to be awarded a Microsoft Affordable Access Initiative grant.  The grants will help these businesses scale their services and business models to increase affordable Internet access for the 4.2 billion unconnected people in the world.

Each company will receive seed grants and resources including free software, services and technology support to help extend the reach of their hardware, applications, connectivity and power solutions.

The cost of mobile data is 10 times more expensive for people in developing countries than the UK. Movivo has created a simple transaction that allows people to unlock free mobile data in exchange for their opinion on how to improve test mobile services put in front of them.

Alasdair Chesney, Chief Executive Officer at Movivo said “Movivo is excited to be partnering with Microsoft on their affordable internet access initiative. Movivo’s platform allows users to earn free mobile data by completing crowdsourced tasks, surveys and by downloading new mobile apps and we’re looking forward to gaining Microsoft’s support to help grow the service further.”

Hugh Milward, Senior Director of Corporate, External and Legal Affairs at Microsoft said of the Movivo grant: “Movivo, our Affordable Access grant winner, has a similar ambition to ours- to help people achieve more. Imagine if you had to work five days just to afford to get onto Facebook? This is a reality for many people living in the developing world and something Movivo is committed to changing. Our grant support will see Movivo roll out their service to reach some of the most disconnected in the world whilst boosting start-up economies by allowing developers to better understand the people they are trying to reach. ”

Other businesses that will receive the grants are based across five continents in 11 countries including Argentina, Botswana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda and the United States.

Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative was developed to democratise access to the internet through grants, commercial partnerships and community engagement.

Earlier this year, Microsoft made a commitment to invest $1 billion of cloud computing resources over the next three years to serve the public good, including expanding the availability of affordable broadband services, new commercial partnerships and expanded philanthropic programmes.