Kenyan entrepreneur Kim Muhota has launched his United States (US)-based mobile shopping startup Plurro in his home country, partnering Barclays Bank to bring crowdsourced offers to consumers.
Plurro aggregates common demand for a product or service, with merchants offering deals to the group. Customers can use the app to create promotions they want to see, with brands then able to drive consumers who need their products to their stores.
Originally launched in the US in 2013, Plurro’s arrival in Kenya is facilitated by Barclays, with the bank’s director of marketing and corporate relations Caroline Ndungu saying Plurro was disrupting the SME and consumer segment by using mobile technology to provide small businesses with “unprecedented access” to local consumers in real-time.
“We believe that Plurro presents the opportunity to transform how merchants acquire new customers and grow revenue,” she said.
With consumer spending in Kenya estimated at around US$30 billion per year and growing, and the advertising market upwards of US$1 billion in annual spend, Muhota said the sector was ripe for innovation.
“Most of this advertising spend is dominated by large corporates; with only a small portion of that spend coming from SMEs,” he said.
“Plurro’s goal is to become a dominant commerce platform through which Kenyans drive their purchasing at businesses across the country. We are about putting the power in the people’s hands, allowing them to get the best deals possible at their location and at their convenience.”
Plurro head of marketing Angela Trepanier said the company sees Kenya as an attractive market because of its rapid adoption of mobile technology.
“I previously ran marketing in Latin America for a global brand; and I am excited about the emerging markets, Africa and Kenya in particular. Kenya strikes me as having a lot of the underpinnings that we look for as we expand Plurro: a tech savvy consumer base that embraces mobile, a cultural dynamic that is about sharing and collaboration, and passion for innovation,” she said.
Originally from Kenya, Muhota is a serial entrepreneur who previously built and sold financial services startup Pertuity. He has also worked as senior executive and line of business head at US bank PNC Financial Services.