Kenyan startup BiasharaBot is an end-to-end sales solution for small and medium sized businesses, helping them increase engagement, sell products on social media, and even deliver items to customers.
Launched last year by Felix Cheruiyot and Moses Korir, and a recipient of funding after taking part in the recent Pangea Accelerator, BiasharaBot has developed an e-commerce chatbot that takes a customer through the sales process until they confirm their order.
It also provides a post manager that allows SMEs to create marketing campaigns and schedule them for posting on social media, while it also allows clients to send bulk messages to customer Messenger accounts to inform them of new products or promotions.
Finally, it has integrated with M-Pesa to allow customers to make payments via Messenger, as while partnerships with fulfilment providers mean items can be delivered straight to customers.
BiasharaBot came about after its founders noticed a lot of businesses did not have the resources to employ someone to manage their social media accounts on a full-time basis, meaning they could not engage effectively on social media.
“Whenever customers inquire about a product on social media, if they do not get a response quickly they move on to another seller,” Korir said.
“Businesses also do not have time to update their social media accounts regularly, meaning they are missing out on building loyalty with their customer, which is critical in establishing repeat business. Many small businesses do not have an engagement tools they can use to inform customers about new products or offers and promotions they are running.”
BiasharaBot, self-funded until taking part in the Pangea programme, is here to put an end to all of that, and has successfully beta-tested its application with a number of customers. It has now opened to the public, and has already secured some businesses as customers.
“The feedback has been great and we are improving the product further,” Korir said.
The startup has a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, with businesses paying a monthly subscription fee, and has been working hard to ensure the chatbot concept catches on in Kenya.
“The awareness of the chatbot concept by businesses is one of the challenges we have faced. We have been educating our customers on how chatbots work during the onboarding process,” said Korir.
For now, BiasharaBot is focused on building its user base in Kenya, but Korir said it does have bigger plans.
“We are currently operating in the Kenyan market, but we plan later on to venture into the other countries in East Africa,” he said.