- Kenya’s Sumuni, an online platform that connects companies and individuals interested in renting, hiring and leasing equipment and services with suppliers, looking to simplify the whole process for its users who want to hire or lease services or equipment.
Conceived in February 2015 by Awil Osman, a 24 year-old and Arif Ahmed,a 27 year- old , both Computer Science graduates from University of Nairobi, Sumuni was later incorporated in October the same year.
Sumuni works simple. The user in need of an item goes to the website www.sumuni.co.ke , requests the item, accepts the terms and condition of hiring the equipment , the sumuni team receives the request and connects the user to a vetted supplier , upon which the item will be returned within the specified duration by the user.
According to the founders, they were inspired by the need to bring together people and help connect them to their needs and establish a market for businesses who are in the hiring business and individuals. Sumuni allows users to hire items in for a short period of time, like an hour, a day or maybe a week. The startup currently receives an average of 5-10 requests in a day .
- Their main competitors are local newspapers and dealers who are in the business for hiring, renting and leasing but the startup is trying to fight them off by being pushing most of their business online and on social media where majority of the customers are found. The biggest challenges now are convincing Kenyans that hiring is more advantageous over buying and doing an expansive marketing campaign at the moment is expensive for them.
- “Hiring is cost effective – buying various equipment for one time use is quite expensive and it involves huge costs including maintenance , inevitable repairs ,storage etc,”the founders say, adding that it’s time effective as users need not to spend valuable time looking for the items. We are hoping for full coverage of Kenya. The long-term plan is to expand into the East African market,