Kapu, a Kenyan-based social commerce startup, has announced the raise of $8 million in seed funding. The startup came out of stealth today and is hoping to ease the process of buying food for Kenyan consumers as food prices increase across the country.
Founded by Sam Chappatte, a former executive vice president of Jumia Group. Kapu has been building a business-to-customer e-commerce service that allows consumers to buy food at a subsidised rate through online and offline channels.
Kapu claims it has 1,500 agent collection centres across Nairobi and will, in its next growth phase, work to fully penetrate Kenya’s capital before expanding to new markets.
With this latest funding, Kapu is set to expand its network of local agents with whom consumers can place orders. The startup also aims to support WhatsApp orders soon too to make the process even easier for consumers.
Kapu’s mode of operation.
Kapu sources directly from manufacturers and producers and enables group bulk-buying of groceries. The startup claims to help consumers save up to 30% of their spend on fresh produce and packaged consumer goods.
“The reason we started Kapu is that we think that there is a more relevant model of e-commerce that can be built to target the grocery basket, which is the biggest portion of spend for the vast majority of consumers.”
“And if by using technology we can bring efficiency, then we can have a tremendous impact on society for consumers and businesses,” Chappate told TechCrunch.
Kapu’s agents, usually located in residential areas, take customers’ orders and make deliveries the next day. “Customers receive a notification from Kapu and agents to pick up their goods. Many agents also deliver to consumers’ homes,” said Chappate.
The seed round was co-led by Giant Ventures and Firstminute Capital, with participation from Founder Collective, Base Capital, Norrsken (Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth’s fund) and Raven One.
They join Kapu’s early backers, including India’s Meesho and Brazil’s Facily co-founders, and several African family offices, Twitter’s Biz Stone, Supercell’s Ilkka Paananen, Tom Blomfield of Monzo and serial entrepreneur Alexander Rittweger.
Sam Endacott, a partner at Firstminute capital, said in a statement: “Sam is deeply experienced in both the e-commerce and logistics category, and we are thrilled to partner with him and the entire Kapu team to help alleviate the cost of living crisis on the Continent for consumers, unlock social mobility and drive growth for SMEs in the region.”
Sam Chappette was at Jumia for seven years and played a considerable role as the brand became a revered e-commerce platform in Kenya and the rest of Africa. He joined to lead the expansion into six new countries and later permanently settled in Kenya.
In 2021, he told cioafrica after his exit from Jumia that Kenya was one of the best places to live and would love to settle there.
“We love Kenya. My wife is an entrepreneur, she started a business called Kenyan Originals (a cider & craft beverage company). We both see amazing opportunities in Kenya. I hope I can continue to play a part in the growth of the digital economy in Kenya long term. We want to bring up our kids here too. They are already speaking better Swahili than us,” Sam says.
“Nairobi is a great hub of smart, ambitious, worldly people. The ecosystem is getting more & more exciting, and I believe will continue to retain & attract some of the world’s top talent. It’s a great place to live.,” the former Jumia boss noted.
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