Kapu, a new social commerce startup founded by a former Jumia executive, has emerged from stealth mode with $8 million in funding. The company aims to revolutionize the way consumers shop for food in Kenya, where sky-rocketing prices have become a major concern.
Kapu was founded by Sam Chappatte, a seasoned veteran of the e-commerce industry. Chappatte previously worked as an executive at Jumia, where they helped to grow the company into one of Africa’s largest online marketplaces.
Chappatte stated that Kapu, which was founded in January of this year, has been developing a B2C e-commerce service that allows consumers to purchase groceries at lower prices through both online and offline channels.
Kapu has recently announced that it has received $8 million in funding from a group of investors. The company plans to use these funds to expand its network of local agents, support WhatsApp orders, and further improve its e-commerce platform.
According to Kapu, the company’s platform allows consumers to save up to 30% on the cost of groceries by enabling group bulk-buying and sourcing directly from manufacturers and producers.
According to Chappatte, the high cost of groceries is a major problem for society, but it is also an opportunity for companies like Kapu to make a difference.
“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,” Chappatte said.
“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.”
Kapu’s seed round was co-led by Giant Ventures and Firstminute Capital, with participation from a number of other investors, including Founder Collective, Base Capital, Norrsken, and Raven One.
The company’s early backers also include Meesho and Facily, as well as a number of African family offices and high-profile investors such as Biz Stone, Ilkka Paananen, Tom Blomfield, and Alexander Rittweger.
According to Kapu, which has 1,500 agent collection locations spread throughout Nairobi, the company would first focus on thoroughly establishing itself in the capital of Kenya before branching out into other markets.