Kenyan startup mookh, a social e-commerce application that allows users to sell products direct from their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, will launch in Nigeria and Tanzania in March once it has secured its US$300,000 funding round.
Launched in September of last year, mookh is designed to allow users to sell products, tickets and digital content, as well as collect donations, through their social media fan pages.
The idea came about in 2012, when chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Eric Thimba launched his first business, selling period pain heat patches.
“Seeing as I did not have much capital to market my product I did what every other young entrepreneur would do, I opened up a Facebook fan page for my product,” Thimba told Disrupt Africa.
“I did some advertising and was getting some good traction on the page. My only problem was that when people would ask me how they could get the product I would either have to redirect them to a physical location or try and convince them to send M-Pesa to my personal line and I would deliver the product to them. None of these methods worked.”
A friend then Thimba to come up with a way of monetising his fan base, and mookh was born.
“I shared the idea with my then business partner and it evolved from just being a platform that allows any merchant to sell products to also ticketing, digital content and donations.”
The opportunity, Thimba said, is in the 120 million Facebook users across Africa.
“We saw an opportunity to be able to maximise the space where most Africans are already congregating. So with mookh they can do more than just socialise, they can also trade effectively,” he said.
“There is no one in Africa who has this offering in the social media space.”
So far, so good for the young startup. mookh, which charges commission on transactions, only launched in beta in September but has already processed over 2,500 transactions, with US$20,000 in sales.
This is from Kenya alone, but the startup is already preparing its expansion. Thimba said mookh will start soon begin testing in Nigeria, with a full rollout planned for March. Operations in Tanzania will launch in the same month.
“Because we built with scalability in mind, our hope is to be operational in 5 countries by December 2016,” Thimba said.
“We hope to become the primary gateway through which merchants choose to trade.”