Kenya’s Closet49, an online marketplace for trendy,fashionable, unique and eclectic clothing used by over 9000 sellers is looking for $50,000 to fuel its local expansion plans in Kenya as the Internet business become popular in the leading East Africa economy.
The startup founded by Serah Kanyua and Irene Abagi and backed by Africa-focused seed investment fund 88mph said it had sold over 2,500 pieces in 2013 and was steadily moving into profitability even though it needs to reach more Kenyans.
Speaking to TechMoran just days after being profiled by CNN ‘African Start-Up’, a program that shines spotlight on great startups and entrepreneurs in the continent’ Kanyua said all Closet49 profits are being reinvested back into the company as it hopes to expand and reach more users locally.
“At the moment we are working on upgrading our website to enable us to add more features and reach more clients across Kenya and eventually East Africa. The funds we want to raise will enable us to implement our countrywide expansion plan.”
The fashion marketplace wants to connect the buyers and sellers in the country to latest fashion items from the trendiest upcoming designers and traders that are available online for easy search, find, click buy and make payment using M-pesa. The platform allows users to buy from selected shops online, then they coordinate the delivery of the item between the buyer and the seller to ensure the item delivered is of quality and reaches the customer in good condition.
Once the customer receives their purchase and is satisfied, Closet49 releases the funds to the trader. The founder says the seed fund they raised from 88mph helped them scale up their services and get the word out away from just their living room. It helped them also get more stock on the platform. Though the journey has not been all rosy, Kanyua says the future is bright. With more money raised the firm can reach more people and if they raise double the better.
Closet49 is not the only form that received seed backing from 88mph, fast growing Kenyan entertainment news site Ghafla!, music distribution platform Mdundo, African taxi hailing app Zapacab, gaming startup Gamsole and football site Futaa are just a handful of the many startups that 88mph has funded.