Start-up snapshot: Slow economic growth the biggest risk for market research firm

Yannick Lefang

KASI Insight is a Kenya-based market research company offering its clients consumer data and actionable insights from the continent.

The founder, Yannick Lefang, briefed How we made it in Africa on his business.

1. How did you finance your start-up?

The company is mostly self-funded with an angel investment led by Sanaga Ventures (founders of VC4A).

2. If you were given US$1m to invest in your company now, where would it go?

I would expand our consumer and market insights capabilities to 80% of the continent, and fast track the development and deployment of several data products, hopefully multiplying our customer base and revenue by 10.

3. What risks does your business face?

Slow economic growth and low consumer spending will dampen our business as clients will cut research expenses.

4. So far, what has proven to be the most successful form of marketing?

The quality of our work and the word of mouth. We get great references and it is sufficient for our niche B2B business.

5. Describe your most exciting entrepreneurial moment.

Our first research paper was presented at the Marketing Social Research Association annual conference in Nairobi, and won the 2016 Best Paper Award. We were competing with big names such as Nielsen, Ipsos, and Ecobank Research.

6. Tell us about your biggest mistake, and what you’ve learnt from it.

The biggest mistake was to underestimate how much work goes into extracting insights from data. We pride ourselves as a provider of actionable insights on the continent and it takes skills to do. Luckily, we were able to quickly surround ourselves with global experts in the field of insights.