Kenyan online firms target Ugandan market
February 9—Sky.Garden CEO and co-founder Daniel Maison, intends to start their regional expansion by launching in Uganda next year after notching up successes in Kenya and raising $1.2 million in new funding recently from Danish and Norwegian investors.
The long lead time will probably be given to negotiations with Uganda’s telecom companies as regards to payment platforms such as MTN Mobile Money and Airtel Money. Sky.Garden is a SaaS mobile commerce platform built for retailers in Africa that allows them to sell inventory with ease on mobile.
Maison is a Kenyan entrepreneur, who together Christian Grubak and Martin Majlund among others, helped fine-tune the company for the Kenyan operation.
Entering the Kenyan market, Maison said,” The widespread penetration of mobile banking and the high adoption of automated systems is nearly unmatched in the continent. These ideal factors create a thriving environment where startups and disruptive platforms can fully realise their potential.”
According to Ventureburn, a start-up publication, Maison said the online shopping company will use the capital it secured to develop its platform through enhanced artificial intelligence engines, integration with AdTech platforms as well as to scale Sky.Garden’s sales and marketing efforts.
Prior to the funding round, Sky.Garden received $100,000 in startup capital from Oslo-based The Katapult Accelerator. In the six months since it launched, the startup has had over 10,000 orders placed on the platform.
Using Sky.Garden works like this in Kenya, but similar steps will probably be adapted in Uganda as well. Interested retailers will have to;
1.Download the Sky.Garden Merchant App (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=garden.sky.shop) from the Google Play Store and register your web shop.
- Register an account by naming your web shop and putting in all your personal details
- Upload your products to your inventory directly on the app. Your products will automatically be placed on the Sky.Garden marketplace for customers to see (www.sky.garden)
- Share your unique web shop links to your social networks like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter
- Once you get an order you will be notified by a Sky.Garden customer service representative
- Your product will then be picked up and delivered to the customer
- Get paid directly to your M-Pesa.
Maison said the company currently has over 3000 merchants on the platform and that this number has been growing at 25% month-on-month.
Meanwhile, Nairobi-based Mondo Ride, is reported to have raised $2-million from investors in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in its second funding round. The money will be used to drive expansion in Kampala and Dar es Salaam and four other cities by the end of this year.
The company is competing against the likes of Uber and Taxify, however customised services, like the ability to hail cheaper motorbikes make Mondo Ride stand out and give it a potential edge against rivals.