Nigeria’s Bolorims has acquired a 10% stake in Nairobi-based AfricaSokoni to launch a new venture, Bolosokoni.com in West Africa.
According to Michael Tokunbo Orimobil CEO Bolorims.com, this partnership is an expansion strategy considering the unprecedented growth of SMEs and the urge to reach a wider customer base through online stores.
‘’Bolorims was eager to invest in the e-commerce market in Kenya to build a cohesive partnership between Nigeria and East Africa. We have acquired a 10% stake of Africa Sokoni but we will be trading in WestAfrica as Bolosokoni.com, said Michael Tokunbo Orimobil CEO Bolorims.com.’’
E-Commerce will enable SMEs lower costs, stay competitive and at the same time, go global by harnessing the power of the Internet and scale he added.
AfricaSokoni is an e-commerce platform that was launched in Kenya in January 2018 seeking to bring African consumers and retailers together online, in a swift, hassle-free, flexible, and credible shopping experience; without the restriction of distance, without customers having to leave the comfort of their homes, offices and farms.
By doing this, the firm hopes to save the consumers from a lot of time wasting, and the hassle and stress associated with the traditional “bricks and mortar” retail shopping.
Founded in Kenya, AfricaSokoni is coined from Africa and Sokoni and Sokoni is Swahili for Market therefore its aim is to be an African Market. The firm had earlier planned to expand into 18 African countries within the next five years and this acquisition could help its expansion.
“We shall vigorously pursue our customer-centric philosophy by making the customer the centre of everything we do, be obsessed about addressing their every need and concern, leverage on innovation for and on their behalf as we consolidate the growth witnessed in the B2C segment, we will expand the B2B segment, said Ebrima Fatty- Africa Sokoni’s CEO.
Ecommerce in Africa is still at its nascent stages and ecommerce firms are grappling with fraud, scale and logistics as well as competition from social media sites. AfricaSokoni might need to invest more to get users on its platform-both buyers, sellers and vendors who are used to the traditional offline model.
The firm will also need to invest a lot more in staff training as fraud has clouded the efficiency of eCommerce leading to fear and distrust among innocent shoppers. Jumia recently shut down its operations in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Cameron and sold a stake to Mastercard as it struggles to fulfill its mission of being Africa’s Amazon.