The social commerce startup Kapu from Kenya has announced the raising of $8 million in early money.
As food costs rise nationwide, the firm, which has emerged from stealth, wants to make it easier for Kenyan consumers to shop for food.
Sam Chappatte, a former executive vice president of Jumia Group, founded the company. Through both online and offline channels, Kapu has been developing a business-to-customer e-commerce service that enables customers to purchase food at a discounted price.
Kapu claims to have 1,500 agent collecting centers spread all over Nairobi and will attempt to thoroughly infiltrate the city of Kenya before pursuing additional markets in its next growth phase.
With this most recent round of funding, Kapu plans to increase the number of regional agents with whom customers may place orders. To make the process more simpler for customers, the business also plans to allow WhatsApp orders in the near future.
How Kapu operates.
Group grocery purchases in bulk are made possible by Kapu, which sources directly from suppliers and manufacturers. The business says it can help consumers save up to 30% on the cost of packaged items and fresh food.
“People spending like 40 to 50% of their household income on the grocery basket is a big problem for society, but it is also a huge opportunity.
“We founded Kapu because we believe that a more relevant e-commerce model can be developed to target the grocery basket, which is the largest chunk of spend for the vast majority of customers,” the founders say.
TechCrunch quoted Chappate as saying, “And if by using technology we can offer efficiency, then we can have a great impact on society for consumers and businesses.”
Customers place orders with Kapu agents, who are typically found in residential neighborhoods, and delivery are made the next day. Customers are notified by agents and Kapu to pick up their products. According to Chappate, several agents also deliver to customers’ houses.
Giant Ventures and Firstminute Capital jointly led the seed round, which also included Founder Collective, Base Capital, Norrsken (co-founder of Klarna Niklas Adalberth’s fund), and Raven One.
Along with many African family offices, Meesho and Facily co-founders from Brazil and India, Biz Stone from Twitter, Ilkka Paananen from Supercell, Tom Blomfield from Monzo, and serial entrepreneur Alexander Rittweger, they join the early backers of Kapu.
Sam Endacott, a partner at Firstminute Capital, said in a statement: “We are thrilled to partner with Sam 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 is deeply experienced in both the e-commerce and logistics category.”
Sam Chappette worked for Jumia for seven years and was a major contributor to the company’s growth into a renowned e-commerce site in Kenya and the rest of Africa. He joined to oversee the expansion into six new nations and later made Kenya his permanent home.
After leaving Jumia in 2021, he told cioafrica that Kenya was one of the nicest locations to live and that he would dearly 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.