Rwandan startup Panatech has launched Iduka Online, an e-commerce marketplace that allows users to buy and sell goods across categories such as electronics, fashion, and furniture.
Launched in May, Iduka Online helps sellers expand their businesses online, and via Android app, by connecting them with buyers. It is already seeing around 5,500 monthly users and has facilitated over 100 sales.
Co-founders Pascal Twizerimana and Uwase Ariane Nadette met at university and worked together on a variety of projects before building Iduka earlier this year. Twizerimana said there were many small merchants in Rwanda, but most could not afford to advertise and could not get customers to visit their shops.
Iduka Online helps them overcome this challenge by connecting them to an online customer base, and earns money from monthly subscriptions and delivery charges. The self-funded startup has had challenges persuading sellers to post their products online, but is now seeing enough growth to suggest its model works.
“Our market right now is Rwanda, but we are planning to expand to the whole of East Africa,” said Twizerimana.