KENYA – AfricaSokoni, a Kenya-based e-commerce start-up has expanded into the Nigerian market as Bolosokoni after the acquisition of e-commerce start-up, Bolorims.
The launch of Bolosokoni comes after the Kenyan e-commerce raised US$995,000 in 2019 to fuel further expansion.
AfricaSokoni and Bolorims signed a memorandum of understanding which saw Bolorims absorbed into the folds of AfricaSokoni in exchange for a 10% equity stake.
According to the CEO of AfricaSokoni, Ebrima Fatty, Bolomis will now operate as Blosokoni.com an entity under Africasokoni.
“This is a takeover of Bolorims.com by Sokoni Online Ltd (AfricaSokoni) in exchange for a 10 per cent equity stake in Africasokoni by FMO Holdings of Nigeria (Parent company of Bolorims.com). Under the agreement, AfricaSokoni will operate in Nigeria as Blosokoni.com, and as an entity under the AfricaSokoni Group.”
FMO Holdings of Nigeria (Parent company of Bolorims) now has a 10% stake in AfricaSokoni
Nigeria’s huge population makes it an attractive destination for e-commerce start-ups. However, many e-commerce startups in the country have found the market extremely challenging with several shutting down. Naspers’s backed OLX and Careers24 are famous examples.
AfricaSokoni’s model of bringing African consumers and retailers together in a swift, hassle-free, flexible, and credible shopping experience, without the restriction of distance, has worked efficiently in Kenya. They however still need to prove they can carve a niche for themselves in the Nigerian market.
However, their prospect for success seems high as they will leveraging on Bolorims over 20 years’ experience as an online platform for the sale of groceries and other food and kitchen items in Nigeria. It is not clear if Bolosokoni will specialize in Food and Groceries like Bolorims.
Plus, if AfricaSokoni is able to replicate its 24 hours delivery model in Nigeria, it could be something new that might garner a peculiar reaction from Nigerians. The huge cache of funds available for the platform to tap into would also be an added boost.
Nigeria E-commerce market is huge, but with huge competitors like Jumia, Bolosokoni have a lot of work ahead of them before they can carve out a niche for themselves.