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Tech-led biofuel startup Koko Networks launches new consumer goods business in Kenya – FiratNews

Tech-led biofuel startup Koko Networks launches new consumer goods business in Kenya – TechCrunch

Koko Networks, a Kenya-based bio-fuel know-how enterprise, has prolonged its enterprise to cowl different fast-moving client items via a brand new tech platform that can capitalize on its established distribution networks in low-income neighborhoods.

Koko Membership, its new enterprise line, is promoting the merchandise on to customers via the dukas (small outlets) that presently function the corporate’s brokers for its bio-ethanol cooking gasoline and stoves.

The Koko Membership merchandise, displayed in designated areas throughout the brokers’ small outlets, will solely be offered to registered Koko Membership members.

The store house owners (brokers) are utilizing Koko’s PoS system to enroll prospects, capturing their biodata, and issuing them with an digital card that they’ll use when shopping for merchandise from any Koko Membership store.

The shopper playing cards are linked to an e-wallet, much like the one presently used to buy Koko’s bio-fuel, and which could be topped up through cell cash and different applied sciences.

Koko Membership is sourcing merchandise immediately from producers and handle the stock via a real-time administration system that stops stockouts, along with offering correct market analytics.

With 35 SKUs below its portfolio, initially, Koko Membership is holding the costs of its merchandise aggressive by shortening the availability chains from producer to customers.

“We’re focusing on low-income households by bringing them the advantages of higher merchandise, decrease costs and comfort. That is along with ensuring that we have now the proper assortment of merchandise on a regular basis,” Koko Networks co-founder and chief innovation officer Sagun Saxena informed FiratNews. Greg Murray is the startup’s different co-founder and CEO.


Koko Membership is a technology-enabled retail platform focusing on customers in low-income neighborhoods. Picture Credit: Koko Networks

Micro-retail retailers, which account for 80% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s family retail commerce, are essential for supplying customers with groceries and different home items.

These casual retailers are normally situated inside strolling distance, making them handy to customers, with the added benefit of extending credit score strains to loyal consumers.

The contributions of those casual retailers to economies, subsequently, can’t be ignored, as they account for the overwhelming majority of commerce within the retail sector throughout the continent.

These outlets, nonetheless, regularly undergo challenges, like stockouts, variability in earnings and insufficient financing, making it arduous for them to develop.

These are a few of the gaps that Koko Membership is planning to bridge, particularly on the problem of stockouts — seeing that the brokers don’t require capital to restock.

Modernizing casual commerce is considered one of many methods for unlocking credit score and the potential of those small micro-retail retailers, in addition to bettering the lives of small enterprise house owners. Saxena stated Koko Membership’s enterprise mannequin offers producers direct entry to this market phase.

“Many of those producers have armies of those who go into the neighborhoods to make it possible for their merchandise are being positioned correctly and that these outlets are styled. They even must have folks on the market to determine what costs the retailers are promoting at,” he stated.

“So, we handle a lot of that for them; we will inform them proper now, precisely what number of of their merchandise are there and their worth tags, and all that form of info.”

The Koko Membership concept was conceived mid 2020 however it wasn’t till the start of this 12 months that the startup moved ahead with its launch, using on the success of its bioethanol gasoline enterprise, which was unveiled in 2019 as a cleaner, cheaper and safer different to charcoal and fuelwood.

At present, there are over 300,000 households utilizing Koko’s bioethanol gasoline and range (made in Koko’s plant in India), up from about 100,000 in March this 12 months. These households are served by the greater than 1,000 brokers, who will now double up as Koko Membership brokers.

The Koko gasoline enterprise has in simply over two years grown past Kenya’s capital Nairobi following a latest launch within the coastal metropolis of Mombasa, with plans to enter Nakuru and Kisumu within the first half of 2022.

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