A couple of weeks ago, we learned that Wasoko, a Kenyan startup, which started its business as Sokowatch back in 2016, had relocated from Kenya to Zanzibar.
To note, Wasoko is basically a platform that allows shop owners to order products via its smartphone app or SMS. Deliveries are then made using Wasoko’s in-house logistics network.
The firm had also been cited as one of the fastest-growing startups in Africa by the Financial Times.
At the time of the aforementioned move, it was revealed, albeit incorrectly (as we are about to find out in a second) that Wasoko was facing business challenges in Kenya. Some of the cited reasons included a harsh tax regime and tough economic times that startups have been facing ever since the pandemic started, alongside inflation and the Ukraine war that has forced VCs to slow down their investments.
However, Wasoko has since clarified the reporting, stating that it has been misquoted by the media over the last couple of days.
Specifically, the Zanzibar move does not mean that it has exited the Kenyan market. Rather, it shifted part of its business to the island to launch an Innovation Hub.
This means that the Kenyan team is here. The company is headquartered at Senteu Plaza in Kilimani. The local business is also its biggest (it has since made more than 2.5 million deliveries to over 50K retailers in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ivory Coast, and Senegal), with 936 employees across 12 branches, supporting a local customer base of over 48,000.
The Innovation Hub in Zanzibar launched in August is focused on building world-class solutions to support our operations across Africa. The team at the Hub comprises engineers, product managers, UX designers, and researchers whilst Kenya remains very much about local and companywide operations – says Wasoko in a statement.
In March 2022, Wasoko raised USD 125 million Series B round, which it said would be used to expand into additional markets.
Wasoko remains committed to helping communities across Africa get more for less. – Wasoko