See the original story in Japanese.
Three months have passed since we first covered Leapfrog Ventures which started invested in the Sub-Saharan African market, but we just got another news update for their investment from Nairobi, Kenya. The firm announced today that it has invested $50,000 US in Kenya-based Biashara Viral Gains, which develops the BiasharaBot social commerce solution suite consisting of a messenger bot and SaaS (service as a service) to help merchants streamline their sales management processes.
Biashara was selected in April as one of top three startups at the Demo Day of Pangea, the Norwegian startup accelerator conducting their programs in Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt. And then the Kenyan startup successfully raised $50,000 US from the accelerator followed by Leapfrog Ventures’ investment at this time.
Derived from ‘Sell’ & ‘Buy’ in Arabic, Biashara is a Swahili word meaning business. In Africa, e-commerce customers sometimes receive wrong or counterfeit items since logistic systems and customer relationship management efforts are sloppy. To address this issue, Biasharabot offers a messenger bot helping merchants encourage potential customers purchased items through recommendations from their friends and celebrities, in addition to sales management SaaS solution enabling order receiving, delivery management and payments acceptance.
Customer acquisition efforts and sales management activities are totally different processes, but the messenger bot engages customers and receives their orders so that it can connects these processes to make a seamless workflow from order receipt to delivery monitoring. Integrated with Kenyan mobile payments system M-Pesa and local on-demand delivery service Sendy, the suite allows merchants to call a driver by one-click to deliver items to customers.
Using the funds raised at this time, Biashara plans to develop and release plug-ins for major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento, while attracting up to 1,000 paying merchants. Not to mention service expansion in Kenya, the company espouses an ambition to advance in Nigeria, South Africa and among other highly-populated Sub-Saharan African markets in the future.
Leapfrog Ventures CEO Takuma Terakubo told The Bridge that our recent coverage about Exuus’ funding encouraged Biashara to get in touch with Terakubo for investment. We were told that the deal was secured in as early as two weeks since the first appointment. We are looking forward to bring you another news update around Leapfrog Ventures soon.
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy