Embracing innovation, and rethinking service capabilities – these are part of a vast realm of possibilities that have been opened across Africa through the adoption of e-commerce, and for tech start-up companies, the opportunities are endless.
As African countries increasingly embrace the expansion of digitization, and products producing more access to the newer Internet of Things (IoT) technologies – one thing is clear, reinvention is possible for any sector.
It isn’t only possible – it may even be necessary for optimization and innovation to thrive, and to solve developmental challenges through digital solutions.
Investor sentiment is also heavily leaning towards digital offerings that can propel Africa forward in the tech space, and according to reports, around 90% of Africa’s tech investments are won by four countries: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt.
Kenya is seemingly leading the charge as investor sentiment is also crucially being met with the backing of political will, as the country is set to introduce its Start-Up Bill this coming year (2023) to further encourage growth and sustainable development, and new entrepreneurship in the tech space.
Investor confidence in innovations created by Africans is also birthing more room and opportunities for more players in the ecosystem.
We also can see now how digitization is already playing a considerable role in optimizing and formalizing the informal market sector – particularly mom-and-pop stores. They now have the resources – through platforms such as Kyosk. app]– where informal retail traders have more direct access to Fast-moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) companies and their distributors, thus solving not only historic structural supply chain challenges but also the stock-outs of products too.
Today, the company boasts a database of over 300,000 such outlets in its database across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria.
However, in a landscape that is ever-evolving and innovating – the question follows, “what’s next?”
According to data released by mobile industry insights company, Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), there will be 400 million new mobile subscribers from frontier markets in the Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025. By then, the total number of subscribers is expected to jump to 5.7 billion people, representing 70% of the world’s population.
Technology is certainly more ubiquitous and data is becoming increasingly affordable for many African countries.
Digital companies are now being challenged to not only offer the efficient delivery of services but also, a broader scope of value-adding products too.
A service offering may begin as one aspect and end up reinventing the entire wheel based on forward-thinking innovation and consumer demand.
Solving delivery efficiencies in the informal retail industry is one step in the chain example, but opportunities to create linkages in that chain that creates better value for both businesses and consumers broaden the realm of possibility.
Developers now have the possibility to not only create a direct link between informal retail outlets, FMCGs, and their distributors – but also on the other side of the coin, FMCG, and distributors, also have a clearer picture of their product’s coverage in the market.
Added to that, by working directly with FMCGs and their distributors, platforms such as Kyosk.app also has the benefit of being able to aggregate demand. Essentially, this means that the platform is able to buy products at the lowest prices possible and pass on those savings to their clients making them more competitive.
And it doesn’t stop there – with access to actual databases and trading histories, the growth of mom-and-pop stores can be propelled through having solid data on which to approach credit providers for access to working capital loans.
One of the ways Kyosk.app is excited to be expanding our own offering, and thus expanding efficiencies for both consumers and businesses – is through making access to micro-insurance products possible.
This is also coupled with our offering of affordable credit solutions for informal traders or rather, Dukas, where owners are able to stock products for their stores and pay off their balances later.
Being digitally driven, the proficiencies of the app also enable using recorded data to predict what will sell for Dukas and advise owners on what they should stock in order to increase their revenues and profits.
The future for African tech is a growing and exciting space to be in, and what we’re learning is that through shaping our user’s journey, we’re shaping what is possible for the rest of the continent.
By Raphael Afaedor, CEO of Kyosk.app Digital Services