Founded by Eric Thimba, Porgie Gachui and Theuri Mwangi, MOOKH, a robust payment gateway combined with a social eCommerce marketplace allowing merchants to sell physical and digital goods and collect donations online is in advanced talks to raise between $200k to $400k to build the most merchant-centric marketplace in Africa.
“To date we have build the company on $60,000 of Friends & Family funding,” Mwangi told TechMoran. “We are in the States closing out first round of seed funding, with a target close date of end of March. We’re looking to raise between $200k – $400k.”
The firm has bootstrapped internally and engineered its tech in a manner that allows them to scale from Kenya. However, through strategic partners Mookh has been able to open new markets with vetted opportunities and pre-existing relationships. Now live in Nigeria and Tanzania, all Mookh has used to grow is word of mouth including the engagements and partnerships.
Mwangi tells TechMoran that the team wanted to build the most merchant-centric marketplace, ensuring anyone with a dream and a talent could begin making money online from day one! So they worked backwards and asked what were the greatest challenges within the digital space for merchants of which they found to be lack of a trusted payment gateway as well as a secure manner in which to deliver goods.
“Not only were we able to create one of the most incredible payment gateways anywhere in the market we went one step further and created a marketplace that allowed merchants to take advantage of their existing fan base that they already worked so hard to curate on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and or their blogs,” says Mwangi.
Instead of asking a merchant to redirect their fans to a massive marketplace where their product was
just another”thing” in a warehouse, Mook allows them to sell directly to their fans straight from their social space.
The three, who together have more than 45 years of experience in process and product design, brand management, analytic research for enterprise product rollouts and consulting with Fortune 500 companies regarding strategic initiatives, say most importantly MOOKHis a merchant centric product, allowing consumers to buy a great product wherever the merchant places it.
MOOKH focuses on the merchants: in design, functionality, metrics, ease of use and ability to create revenue quickly and scale one’s online sales in a manner that makes sense from a Pan-African perspective.
The problem they are solving no e-commerce player has bothered to tackle it. Mwangi says that to date every well known e-commerce player has entered Africa with a cookie cutter blueprint from the USA or Europe. They haven’t addressed local merchant needs and challenges (payment security risks, logistical problems, online literacy, etc).
Mwangi and his co-founders built MOOKH to address these LOCAL problems.
“We consider regional disposable income, integrate with local payment solutions such as mobile money, provide simple to use residential delivery services, and allow non-tech savvy merchants to sell through the easiest platforms online.”
“We have created the most Afrocentric market place in functionality and purpose. We are the first in Africa to have the ability to process payments directly within Facebook, allow merchants to accept mobile wallets, visa, mastercard, and Amex, and give merchants control of pricing, delivery logistics, best practices for marketing,” Mwangi tells TechMoran.
Mookh has four verticals: products, digital content (music), event ticketing, and donations. Some of their competitors in some verticals include Shopify, Jumia, Ecwid, Konga, iTunes, MChanga, TicketSasa and Computicket.
However, the team is not worried about the competition as everyone on its team has in the past helped birth and create a successful internet brand.
“MOOKH is a result of taking everything we learned both good and bad from those experiences and opportunities and using it to impact the world around us in the most positive intention possible. At the end of the day we’re here to build a huge product, make money and create value for our merchants and stakeholders while solving a very obvious market need,” they say.
Mwangi says the MOOKH is so radically different from anything that has been rolled out so far and is proud and honoured that they have created something that empowers people to create wealth and chase dreams.
MOOKH’s business model is purely transactional, there is a modest fee (between 7-15%) for every payment it processes.