Q&A: Konga.com Still Going Big In Nigeria With Me-Commerce

By Kevin Mwanza AFKI Original Published: June 16, 2016, 8:19 am
Konga’s CEO Shola Adekoya (Image: konga.com)

Before there was any other e-commerce site in Nigeria, there was Konga.com.

The e-commerce site was the first to be launched in Africa’s largest economy in 2012 and raised $3.5 million seed round from Investment AB Kinnevik. It raised a $10 million Series A round from Investment AB Kinnevik and Naspers in early 2013, before closing a $25 million Series B from the same investors the same year.

In 2014, Konga raised a $40 million Series C round from the two investors.

Initially the site only served as a Lagos-only online retailer and focused on merchandise in the baby and beauty care categories, but later broadened its scope to all of Nigeria from December 2012, before gradually expanding the variety of products sold via the platform.

The site launched a third-party retail platform in 2014, which had 8,000 merchants by the end of the same year.

It acquired assets and mobile money license of Zinternet Nigeria Limited in mid 2015, effectively allowing it to provide mobile payment services through its KongaPay service.

Konga.com, one of the largest e-commerce sites in Nigeria, recently launched a new payment system through its KongaPay platform called Me-Commerce that allows customers to take a photo of any item they want to sell and generate a payment QR code.

AFKInsider talked to Konga’s CEO Shola Adekoya about Me-Commerce and other issues in the e-commerce industry in Nigeria and Africa. Here is what he had to say:

AFKINSIDER: Tell us about Konga.com’s payment platform and what’s disruptive about it?

SHOLA ADEKOYA: KongaPay is a game-changer because it is designed to be fast, reliable, secure, flexible and above all provides a best-in-class financial solution to Nigerians and Africa at large. It is also available to consumers outside of the Konga.com platform.

KongaPay is pioneering me-Commerce which allows users to take a photo of any item they want to sell and a payment QR code will be generated for them to share on their favorite social media sites. This is global industry first and we’re excited especially as it provides a unique gateway for local entrepreneurs to reach both local and international markets through social media.

In addition to Me-Commerce, KongaPay has launched a number of other initiatives and innovations. Customers can now pay with just their phone number and a 4-digit PIN, this enables customers to send money to any Nigerian phone number in your contacts, without asking for an account number and much more.

AFKINSIDER: How has KongaPay grown over the years?

SHOLA ADEKOYA: Originally, KongaPay launched as a one-click payment platform, which offered a 5% discount on every purchase made on the Konga.comecommerce platform. With our subsequent growth and re-launch in April 2016, KongaPay has positioned Konga as a solution provider and we are now growing and leading as a pacesetter to other e-commerce platforms in how e-commerce can contribute to employment generation, entrepreneurial empowerment, ecosystem development and also help in the overall economic growth of Nigeria and Africa.

KongaPay is the first payment solution in the world to entrench these collective solutions into one product. This reaffirms our position as the development leader in its industry and our commitment to further deepen the ecosystem.

What’s different on Me-Commerce?

SHOLA ADEKOYA:Me-Commerce is a first in Africa and the World. Merchants can take a photo of any item they want to sell and generate a payment QR code on the same image which can then be shared on their favorite social media sites including Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp. This is a unique gateway for local entrepreneurs to reach both local and international markets through social media which is often the only way of connecting with consumers as a large number of entrepreneurs and merchants have access to phones but not computers to the same degree. Nigeria has over 97M data Internet users and majority of them are social users and by taking this approach, Konga has taken commerce into the social space.

AFKINSIDER: What other products has Konga developed and how are they performing in the market?

SHOLA ADEKOYA:We have developed several really interesting products such as KOS Logistics and KongaEZ to name a few.

KOS Logistics has over 40,000 registered sellers on the Konga.com platform; the site has the full spectrum from small companies to big companies. The sellers can now use our platform, and ship with our logistics network – KOS.

In 2014, we partnered/outsourced logistics to international and local courier companies and soon realized that it was not serving the market efficiently. We therefore built a scalable logistics network, supported through purpose built technology developed by our in-house software engineers to resolve the local logistics challenges. We have 90 last mile delivery partners and we cover every state in Nigeria. This network currently has the largest capacity to do e-commerce shipments in Nigeria and has created jobs and a means of living for many Nigerians all over the country since each of these small logistic companies recruit around 10 to 15 staff.

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