Ever wondered how your neighbor’s food tastes? Ever wanted to share your cooking with people nearby? Kenya’s Megashift Technologies has developed an app that allows you to do just that. Jiranisfood allows users to register as hosts and post their best dishes while users can opt to have one of the dishes listed nearby. TechMoran spoke with the Jiranisfood team about their company and their plans moving forward. Here are the details we learned.
Tell us about yourselves; your team, your educational and professional backgrounds
Our team consists:
Peter Muchemi, Co-founder, and Managing Director, Megashift Technologies ltd.
I am a computer science graduate (2015 year of graduation) from Chuka University and a software engineer by profession. Prior to starting Megashift technologies, I was working with one of the leading fintech company in Kenya which exposed me to banking systems of some of the largest banks in Kenya and East Africa.
John Ndirangu, Software developer, Megashift Technologies ltd
John has a background in IT from Jkuat and is currently one of our leading developers. He is a software developer by profession.
How would you best describe Jiranisfood, and parent company Megshift Technologies, what does it do?
Megashift technologies is a startup company which we started late last year with the aim of developing cloud solutions. We develop software as a service(SaaS) solutions, which we sell to our clients on a subscription basis. However, our focus is on innovative solutions that will disrupt the market.
Jiranisfood is a product of Megashift. It allows its users to share local homemade food to people nearby. Users who love cooking will register as hosts on the system and post their best dish details such as name, how many people they can serve, price and their actual location which they will be cooking their food from. A host can post as many dishes they want as long they will meet the demand in their neighborhood
Customers who want to order food will be able to view all the food available near them with the actual distance of the seller and other details such as whether the host can deliver or they will have to go and pick it up, or even go and eat together at the host home.
What market gap did you spot that motivated you to start this company?
Jiranisfood idea came while I was in dare Salam implementing a certain project and it happened I was so tired of eating hotel food that I was just craving for something fresh, local and homemade. So one day my friends decided to hire a local woman who would come every evening to cook dinner for us. So we would meet at one of our friend’s apartment and eat there while connecting with this lady. She would not only cook very nice local meals but also teach us about their culture and their way of life.
Later when I came back to Nairobi I realized there is also a lot of young men who dislike cooking and would entertain this idea so immediately we started the design and implementation
Who is your target market?
We are targeting young people in age group of 20-40 who mostly are in urban environments who dislike cooking and don’t have the resources to order from expensive restaurants.
We are also targeting the tourist’s industry both local and international since jiranisfood will offer a platform where tourists can connect with the local people through food and learn their culture.
How does your company make money, what is your business model?
We will be charging commissions of 6-10% for any order that is transacted successfully through our platform and at a later stage, we can start selling targeted ads.
What is the biggest challenge the company has faced in its journey so far?
One of the biggest challenges we are facing is lack of trust from users since this is a very new business model which does not exist anywhere in Africa or in the west. And lack of seed capital to scale and do marketing.
Who would you say is your major competition in this space at the moment?
One of the close competition is platforms like Jumiafood, Eat out, and Yum. Why I say close is because their models are based on restaurants but our model is very unique since we are dealing directly with people who are actually selling the food to their neighbors and tourists.
What is your vision for the company in the next 5 years?
We plan to raise capital and launch in countries like South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
It’s all about taking the risk and having a passion for what you are trying to solve.
There is a lot of challenges such us rejection, financial challenges so they should expect a rough road but with patience, determination and focus I think all these are overcome at the end.