• Press Release
  • 5 Min Read

Upstream successfully concludes Mobile World Congress 2016


M-commerce accelerator enjoys significant presence at the event


3rd March 2016, London – Upstream, a leading mobile commerce accelerator in high growth markets, has enjoyed yet another year at GSMA’s 2016 Mobile World Congress, held 22nd-25th February 2016, in Barcelona.

25 Upstream delegates were present from 10 regional hubs; an increased presence from last year. Over 50 meetings were conducted with existing and prospective partners, app developers, content providers, digital media brands, mobile service providers, publishers, and software security companies.

During the four day event, Upstream shared how MINT 2.0, Upstream’s proprietary m-commerce platform, can enable mobile network operators to leverage their unique assets to get their fair share of the growing digital economy. Delegates also met with industry analysts and journalists, who were seeking to further their understanding of the rise in mobile commerce, with particular focus on consumer acquisition, adapting a global approach to local markets and the pivotal role of enabling payments via mobile and direct carrier billing.

Upstream’s CEO and Co-founder, Marco Veremis, was invited to lead the commentary on the opening morning of the event, on CNBC’s flagship show “Squawk Box” hosted by Karen Tso, in which he highlighted the importance of providing relevant content to the next 3 billion consumers in emerging markets.

The team unveiled topline findings into new research undertaken recently with YouGov, which looked into the mobile habits of consumers in emerging markets to understand how brands can maximise opportunities there. Upstream also announced the upcoming launch of CoverNow, a new subscription-based microinsurance service via mobile, initially scheduled to roll out in Egypt and Brazil.

The Upstream record of recognition at MWC continued as it was named as a finalist in the 2016 Global Mobile Awards, the mobile industry’s oldest – now in its 21st year – and most prestigious annual ceremony. The Mobile Language Learning mobile service was shortlisted for ‘Best Mobile Innovation in Emerging Markets’, amongst strong global competition from mHealth Tanzania Partnership, Etisalat, M-Kopa Solar, Telefonica, and Vodafone Turkey.

Yet again, visitors were able to enjoy the surroundings of Upstream’s eco-friendly stand, constructed from predominantly recycled or upcycled materials, making it a strong contestant for the 2016 GSMA Green Stand Award. This aligned with the company’s core ethics and sustainability strategy in local markets, which saw Upstream receive the GSMA’s Green Stand Award for low carbon footprint at MWC 2015.

Additionally, Upstream was a key sponsor of the Greek country pavilion at the congress, organised by the Hellenic Association of Mobile Application Companies (HAMAC). This was to enable small and medium sized tech companies showcase their products and services, and to convey the vibrant ecosystem of innovation and technology in Greece.

Speaking at MWC in Barcelona, Marco Veremis, CEO Upstream, commented: “MWC has proved to be another successful event, enabling us to meet with a range of existing and prospective partners. From brands and software security providers, to digital music service providers, they are recognising the need to target the next 3 billion consumers in emerging markets and are seeking out the expertise of Upstream to do so. The world is not flat; consumers in high growth markets require brands to take a different approach if they are going to access their services effectively. Through Upstream’s technology platform, we are enabling partners to leverage m-commerce opportunities in these markets, helping them deliver content that is relevant, affordable and accessible.

MWC 2016 was another record breaking year, with over 100,000 attendees from 204 countries and territories. Over 2,200 companies participated in the exhibition, which spanned nine halls at Fira Gran Via. Virtual reality was a recurring theme this year, but attendees also enjoyed new handsets and ingenious app ideas, 3D printing, privacy protection and backend solutions, which were all on display for visitors. The conference featured 374 speakers from consumer brands, mobile organisations, mobile operators and industries touched by the mobile market, including advertising, banking, health, NGOs, entertainment and education.

Mobile World Congress 2017 will take place on 27th February – 2nd March, 2017 and Upstream will be back again with a significant corporate presence, for the eighth consecutive year. More information will be available in the coming months.

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