Nigeria’s Cribpark.com is an online shop set to sell everything needed in the house, from furniture, rugs, appliances and even services such as painters and home movers so you enjoy your stay in your new house, or move into a new one with ease.
Apart from its online store, the site also aims to put all the info you need about housing at your fingertips on your mobile phone or tablet without any fee.
Founded this year in Lagos Nigeria, the site has three major offers; A blog and professional community where users can access a wide variety of information on all areas of housing relevant for their everyday as well as project-related decision making, A catalogue and design kits from which they get plans and design inspiration for their architectural, interior, landscaping, and construction projects, A web shop through which users can purchase home items, appliances, tools and services.
CribPark is a brainchild of Dare O. Pius and Ayo Oladapo.
Pius, a project management professional, a web-interface designer, app developer and a structural engineer is the CEO of Cribpark and has worked as a design engineer in Alcatel-lucent Nigeria and as a structural engineer across several other companies. His co-founder, Oladapo is a structural engineer with special competencies in high-rise construction, a research and development enthusiast, and a multimedia designer. He is Cribpark’s business developer.
According to Pius, there is a huge gap between the volume of services and products provided in the housing industry and their online presence and accessibility, considering the increase in rate of online engagement in Nigeria. Having been in the industry for several years, he says they realised there was no known housing platform where an average person could go to if in need of any housing local content, there was no real community bringing together different housing professionals online, and there was no web shop dedicated to housing products and services.
“We wanted all these activities online, we wanted people to read articles, meet and see the works of professionals, and also buy home items and services. The end result is Cribpark.com,” ” he told TechMoran.
The platform, still in BETA goes live fully in August and Pius tells TechMoran they intend to make money through e-commerce.
“Cribpark is Nigeria’s first online shop dedicated to housing. While most online housing sites focus on property and real estate, we intend to explore the retail housing market entirely. This entails sales and delivery of home related products and services in general, and other evolving opportunities in the housing industry,” he says.
The plstform will stock all the household or home related products and services in general, and other evolving opportunities in the housing industry and so professionals like architects, carpenters, interior designers, and other experts showcase their works, get known and have the publicity their works need. Users who are potential clients also get to review the works of these professionals, get to know them, ask questions about their works, and eventually contract them for projects.
The platform also has a community where it engage people by providing rich information through via its blog, with articles which provide tips and solutions for daily home experiences and challenges, like how to go about building, how to maintain residential areas, home maintenance, security tips against burglary, and so many varied issues that affect users everyday lives.
There are challenges though.
“Home items and services can really be hard to standardise, especially for the services, the way services were being rendered which is based on location and so many other factors gave us a hard time standardising. But it is worth it creating products and services in a way that readily gives value to the customers and makes it easy for them to carry out their projects with less logistics,” says Pius.
Another problem is the technical and technological skills required and the costs involved and also constantly researching what people really want without having sufficient secondary data means the team has to do a lot of detailed ground-work.
Self-funded the team says its carving a niche which disrupts the presently available online offerings of the housing industry key players by creating value for their users such that wherever they are, once they have any need which relates to homes and housing, the first point of call is Cribpark.com because its offerings are in perfect harmony with their home needs.
Dare O. Pius is also Co-founder of www.mybirthpals.com; a social networking site which connects people who share same birth dates. He is also the founder of Stuere Designs, an ICT training and multimedia designs company. He designed Cribpark’s website and the multimedia contents on it.
Pius says they are elated to be among the DEMO Africa top 40 and aim to use the launchpad to gain even more users and mentorship to take on the huge market they play in.
“We are glad to have made it to the race; excited to passionately put our all into realising this vision, we are open to learning and having a great experience through this opportunity DEMO Africa has opened up, said Pius. “We plan to move to the next phase by utilising all benefits and lessons learnt during the course of the DEMO.”
Pius says his team intend to immediately get the web-shop fully operational, sort out all logistics, and intensify marketing efforts across mass media, while carrying out more research and strategizing in the right direction after DEMO Africa 2014. CribPark is one of the 14 startups from Nigeria that were selected to launch at DEMO Africa 2014 which is set to be held in Lagos Nigeria this September.