Home Startups Ex-Jumia execs raise $8 million to launch Kapu, a B2C e-commerce platform to take on Jumia

Ex-Jumia execs raise $8 million to launch Kapu, a B2C e-commerce platform to take on Jumia

by James Musoba
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Former Jumia executives have reportedly raised $8 million to launch Kapu, Swahili for Basket, a new B2C e-commerce startup set to allow customers in Kenyan cities to shop & save on their weekly grocery basket.

The funding round was co-led by Giant Ventures and Firstminute Capital, with participation from Founder Collective, Base Capital, Norrsken (Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth’s fund) and Raven One including India’s Meesho and Brazil’s Facily co-founders. Twitter’s Biz Stone, Supercell’s Ilkka Paananen, Tom Blomfield of Monzo and serial entrepreneur Alexander Rittweger plus a number of Africa family offices were part of the round.

Sam Endacott, partner at Firstminute Capital, said in a statement: “Sam is deeply experienced in both the e-commerce and logistics category and we are thrilled to partner with him and the entire Kapu team to help alleviate the cost of living crisis on the Continent for consumers, unlock social mobility and drive growth for SMEs in the region.”

Kapu has allready signed up 1,500 agent collection centers across Nairobi residential areas to take customers’ orders and make deliveries the next day. The platform will run an offline channel (through agents) and online direct to consumer (via WhatsApp) to reach its customers.

Kapu will include fresh produce from Kenyan farms, and at wholesale prices and goods directly from manufacturers delivered for free the next day, to a Kapu Agent collection center near their homes.

By sourcing directly from farms and manufacturers, creating a low-cost logistics model & minimal food waste, Kapu can sustainably pass on savings to their customers. These customers access even lower prices if they place the order as a group (“pamoja”).

Launched in Kenya in 2022, Kapu is on a mission to reduce the cost of living and save consumers in Africa $1 billion. To achieve this goal, Kapu is building the most relevant B2C e-commerce model for the majority of urban consumers. The company was founded by an experienced team, launched in Kenya and is backed by top global investors.

Speaking during the launch, Kapu CEO Sam Chappatte said, “We think it’s unfair that consumers in Kenya spend 40% of their income on food, when Americans spend 6%. This is a huge blocker to social mobility. Our goal at Kapu is to build the most relevant model of e-commerce for the majority of urban consumers in Africa. By working with existing community groups & local entrepreneurs, we believe we can play a part in reducing the costs of goods, and unlocking opportunities for millions of people”.

Kapu has started operations in Eastlands, Kasarani, Kawangware, South B, Kibra, Embakasi, Githurai and Kiambu. Kapu plans to open up access to its services across Nairobi by March 2023.

Kapu agents include mama mbogas, salons, and individuals such as stay-at-home-mums and students, who are able to earn an extra income – whilst helping their communities save more.

“Once a customer tries Kapu, our data shows that they quickly adopt Kapu for their weekly grocery shopping needs. It works because our model is relevant – we sell the products people want, affordably, and work with trusted community partners. In our first year of operations we will have saved consumers 40M KES, be on track to deliver 1 million orders annually & working towards profitability.” added Chappatte.

Customers who want to try the service can dial *789*8# to register & get 50 KES cash back on their first order. Once registered, they can place an order with a KAPU branded agent in their neighborhoods.

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