During its Half Year Results announcement, Safaricom took it upon themselves to introduce their next big innovation, Masoko. Masoko is an e-commerce platform that Safaricom boldly describes as “an unmatched online shopping experience”. We first heard of Masoko back in July this year, where we got a leak of what to expect from Masoko.
Initially, Masoko was to be launched somewhere around Mid-August, this was later postponed to somewhere around October and now, we have an official date from Safaricom and that is November 16. While making the announcement, Sateesh Kamath, Safaricom CFO, said that “Kenya has a huge untapped potential for e-commerce. Kenya customers are also savvy in using mobile technology to manage their financial transactions… We believe this market has the potential to grow multiple times in the next few years.”
Masoko will adopt an Amazon-like model, where vendors sign up and sell their goods on the platform. This means that Safaricom will not own any of the stock available on Masoko, however, the company will vet all the vendors to ensure that what they sell meets their set standards, an important factor, since Safaricom is putting its brand trustworthiness on the line.
Masoko will launch with 30,000 different types of products and more than 200 vendors. The platform will serve C2C, B2C, C2B and B2B market segments. The main payments option will be Lipa na M-Pesa, which will be running on top of M-Pesa’s new API, but other payments options such as Cash on Delivery will be accepted. Masoko will also use logistics services such as Sendy to deliver goods that the customers have ordered.