Tech-led biofuel startup Koko Networks launches new consumer goods business in Kenya – TechCrunch


Coco Networks, Kenya-based biofuel technology company has expanded its business to cover other FMCG through a new technology platform that leverages the distribution network established in low-income areas.

The new business line, Coco Club, will sell its products directly to consumers through Duca (a small store), which is currently the distributor for bioethanol cooking fuels and stoves.

Coco Club products displayed in the designated space of the agent’s small shop will only be sold to registered members of Coco Club.

The store owner (agency) uses Coco’s PoS system to register customers, obtain biodata, and issue electronic cards to use when purchasing products at Coco Club stores.

The card is linked to an e-commerce wallet similar to the one currently used to buy Coco’s biofuels and can be replenished via mobile money and other technologies.

In addition to procuring products directly from manufacturers and providing accurate market analysis, CocoClub manages inventory through a real-time management system that prevents stockouts.

With 35 SKUs in the portfolio, Koko Club initially keeps its products price competitive by shortening the supply chain from manufacturers to consumers.

“We are targeting low-income households by bringing them the benefits of better products, lower prices, and convenience. In addition to always ensuring the right product lineup. “That’s it,” said Koko Networks, co-founder and chief innovation officer. Sagun Saxena I told TechCrunch. Gray Murray Another co-founder and CEO of the startup.

Coco Club is a technology-enabled retail platform for consumers in low-income areas. Image credit: Coco Networks

Micro retail stores occupying 80% Retailing household goods in sub-Saharan Africa is important for supplying consumers with groceries and other household goods.

These informal retailers are usually within walking distance, convenient for shoppers, and have the added benefit of extending the credit line to loyal buyers.

The Contribution to the economy of these informal merchantsTherefore, it accounts for the majority of retail trade across the continent and cannot be ignored.

However, these shops are constantly plagued by challenges such as stockouts, revenue fluctuations, and inadequate financing, making growth difficult.

These are some of the gaps Coco Club plans to fill, especially when it comes to out-of-stock issues. Make sure the agent does not need capital to replenish.

The modernization of informal trade is seen as one of the strategies to unleash credit and the potential of these small retailers and improve the lives of small business owners. According to Saxena, CocoClub’s business model gives manufacturers direct access to this market segment.

“Many of these manufacturers have an army of people going to the neighborhood to make sure their products are properly placed and these shops are styled. Know the prices retailers are selling. You even need to put people in there to do that, “he said.

“So we take care of much for them. We can now tell them exactly how many of their products they have, their price tags, and all such information. I can do it.”

The Coco Club idea was conceived in mid-2020, but it was this year that startups took the lead in the success of the bioethanol fuel business, which was announced in 2019 as clean, cheap and safe. It was the beginning. An alternative to charcoal and firewood.

Currently, the number of households using Coco’s bioethanol fuel and stove (manufactured at Coco’s factory in India) has exceeded 300,000 from about 100,000 in March this year. More than 1,000 agents serve these households, and these agents are now also agents for Coco Club.

The Coco Fuel business has grown beyond the Kenyan capital Nairobi in just over two years after its recent launch in the coastal city of Mombasa, with plans to enter Nakuru and Kisumu in the first half of 2022.

Tech-led biofuel startup Koko Networks launches new consumer goods business in Kenya – TechCrunch Source link Tech-led biofuel startup Koko Networks launches new consumer goods business in Kenya – TechCrunch

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