Former Jumia executives on Monday unveiled a new social commerce platform named Kapu with an eye on lowering the cost of living for the mass market in Kenya and later spread across African cities.

A number of former Jumia executives are behind the new community commerce company that has managed to raise about Sh981.6 million in startup capital from a host of notable global investors 

Through its agents, Kapu says it allows customers in tens of estates in Nairobi County to shop and save on their weekly grocery basket with a mission to reduce the cost of living.

Kapu says its model is designed for the Kenyan consumer whereby customers can buy products they usually buy in the quantities they want at discounts ranging from 10-15 per cent.

The firm formed by former Jumia Kenya executives deals in quality fresh produce from Kenyan farms at wholesale prices delivered the next day for free to the nearest Kapu agent.

Cyrus Onyiego, Meera Dhanani and Sam Chappate. PHOTO/KAPU 

Kapu CEO Sam Chappatte says by sourcing directly from farms and manufacturers, creating a low-cost logistics model and minimal food waste, Kapu can sustainably pass on savings to their customers.

The former Jumia Kenya CEO revealed that customers across the city estates can form communities and access even lower prices if they place the order as a group.

To use the service, consumers order for groceries with their local Kapu agent with orders placed before 9pm delivered the next day before 4pm for free to a local Kapu Agent.

He revealed that the e-commerce platform will soon avail a Whatsapp direct ordering platform to complement the current ordering through the nearest Kapu agents only.

Speaking at the launch in Nairobi, Chappatte noted that Kenyan consumers spend 40 per cent of their income on food, which is a stark comparison to 6 per cent spent by Americans.

He intimated that it was an enormous impediment to social mobility and Kapu’s goal was to build the most favourable model for e-commerce for Africans living in urban setups.

“We think it’s unfair that consumers in Kenya spend 40% per cent of their income on food, when Americans spend 6 per cent. This is a huge blocker to social mobility,” Chappatte said.

He added: “Our goal at Kapu is to build the most relevant model of e-commerce for the majority of urban consumers in Africa. By working with existing community groups & local entrepreneurs, we believe we can play a part in reducing the costs of goods, and unlocking opportunities for millions of people.”

Kapu, which launched the pilot of the new service at the start of 2022, boasts it already has over 1,500 Kapu Agent Collection Centers across more than 25 areas in Nairobi County.

Kapu agents are operational in Eastlands, Kasarani, Kawangware, South B, Kibra, Embakasi, Githurai and Kiambu amid plans to expand to remaining areas in Nairobi by March 2023.

The agents include mama mboga, salons and individuals such as stay-at-home-mums and students, who are able to earn an extra income while helping their communities save more on milk, eggs, brea, fruits, vegetables, flours, sugar, pasta, oils among other items.

“Once a customer tries Kapu, our data shows that they quickly adopt Kapu for their weekly grocery shopping needs. It works because our model is relevant -we sell the products people want, affordably, and work with trusted community partners,” Chappatte intimated.

Meera Dhanani, Cyrus Onyiego, Mateus Kratz, Stanislas Barth and Janelle Muchai. PHOTO/KAPU  

“In our first year of operations we will have saved consumers Sh40 million, be on track to deliver 1 million orders annually and working towards profitability,” he added.

Customers who want to try the service can dial *789*8# to register and get Sh50 cashback on their first order then place an order with a KAPU branded agent in their neighbourhood.

Other former Jumia executives who founded Kapu are; 

• Meera Dhanani - Head of Marketing (Former Jumia Chief Marketing Officer)

• Cyrus Onyiego - Chief Operating Officer (Former Jumia Travel MD & Jumia Food COO)

• Mateus Kratz - Chief Product Officer 

• Head of Supply Stanislas Barth (Former Jumia Head of Offline Sales)

• Growth Lead Janelle Muchai