Having kicked off 2017 with a multi-million dollar investment from Naspers and Kinnevik, Shola Adekoya, chief executive officer (CEO) of Nigerian e-commerce platform Konga, takes a moment to reflect on the startup’s progress, and that of the wider e-commerce industry in Nigeria.
Nigeria boasts the largest population in Africa – set to increase from 180 million today to 440 million by 2050, with gross domestic product (GDP) expected to grow between 4.5 and 9 percent each year in between. With 38 percent of Nigerians now connected to the internet – a figure that’s on the rise fueled by a growing middle class – our e-commerce industry clearly has potential.
But reaping these online rewards isn’t straightforward. To encourage Nigerians to make more online transactions the e-commerce industry must find innovative solutions to the table stakes of online sales, such as fast and easy payments and refunds, and trouble-free deliveries and returns. Perhaps it’s the passion and commitment involved in bringing Nigeria’s strong trading culture online that makes our country an attractive proposition for investors.
When we started Konga in 2012, we knew we had to innovate to be successful. Today, I am proud of the progress we’ve made. We are a homegrown Nigerian business, tailored to our local customers’ needs and committed to delivering the highest standards of service in the market. We’ve significantly grown our marketplace to service local seller and customer needs, and we’ve built much of our own nationwide delivery network from scratch, empowering 80 local franchisees in the process, as well as building a proprietary third party logistics and warehousing service. We’ve also launched KongaPay, which has materially increased our prepaid orders and reduced friction in the payment process.
There’s much still to do, especially as our marketplace model continues to evolve around local nuances, but at Konga we couldn’t feel more positive about the future. Our latest round of investment from Naspers and Kinnevik follows their previous investments and underlines their ongoing commitment to our business and the Nigerian e-commerce market. It’s the perfect way to start our fifth year of business and we look forward to benefitting from their continued support and expertise. Of course, neither Naspers nor Kinnevik are strangers to Nigeria, having been long-term investors in the country via successful businesses like Naspers’ MultiChoice.
Looking ahead, it is our ambition to bring millions more consumers online to shop for their everyday needs by providing a superior service that means and offers something to everyone. Our latest double digit million-dollar investment from Naspers and Kinnevik will take the business to breakeven and allow the team to continue improving on Konga’s customer experience across all its offerings.
We value our customers’ patronage and we are committed to delivering a truly amazing service to them.