Kapua social commerce startup that surreptitiously launched today has raised $8 million in seed funding that hopes to help ease the burden of buying food for Kenyan consumers, many of whom Some of them are struggling with skyrocketing food prices.
Kapu founder, Sam Chappattea former Jumia executive, said the startup since its founding in January this year has built a b2c e-commerce service that allows consumers to buy groceries at lower prices, through online and offline channels.
The startup is now expanding its network of local dealers that consumers can order from. It will also support WhatsApp orders soon. By sourcing directly from producers and producers, Kapu enables bulk grocery shopping and claims to save consumers up to 30% on fresh produce. and consumer packaged goods.
“People spending about 40 to 50 percent of their household income on grocery carts is a big deal for society, but it’s also a huge opportunity… The reason we started Kapu is because we I think there’s a more e-commerce-appropriate model that can be built to target grocery carts, which are the biggest spenders of the vast majority of consumers. And if by using technology we can deliver efficiency, then we can have a huge social impact on consumers and businesses,” Chappate told TechCrunch.
The seed round was co-led by Giant Ventures and Firstminute Capital, with participation from Founder Collective, Base Capital, Norrsken (a fund of Niklas Adalberth, co-founder of Klarna), and Raven One. They join Kapu’s early backers, including India’s Meesho and Brazil’s Facily co-founders, and several African family offices, Twitter’s Biz Stone, Supercell’s Ilkka Paananen, Tom Monzo’s Blomfield and serial entrepreneur Alexander Rittweger.
Sam Endacott, partner at Capital Firstminute, said in a statement: “Sam has deep experience in both e-commerce and logistics and we are delighted to be partnering with him as well as the whole world. Kapu team to help alleviate the Continent’s cost of living crisis for consumers, unlock social mobility and drive growth for SMEs in the region.”
Kapu says it has 1,500 dealer collection centers across Nairobi, and in its next phase of growth it will penetrate fully into the Kenyan capital before expanding into new markets.
Kapu’s dealers, usually located in residential areas, take customer orders and deliver the next day.
“Customers receive notifications from Kapu and also from dealers to pick up the goods. Many dealers also deliver to consumers’ homes,” said Chappate.
Kapu says the offline (through reseller) and online direct-to-consumer (via WhatsApp) channel models are designed to suit the Kenyan market, where e-commerce is underdeveloped but commercial Social commerce is showing signs of potential.
Kenya is said to have one of the highest percentages of monthly WhatsApp users in the world, according to Global Web Index’s 2020 Social Media User Trends Report — which happens when the popularity of The social commerce sector is on the rise in the region as online shopping trends continue to shift into the post-covid pandemic.
Kapu joins a growing list of startups that are digitizing informal retail in Kenya, including Tushop, which was launched last year. Kapu and Tushop both allow group purchases of food supplies through resellers and WhatsApp.