Startup snapshot: Two Kenyans making e-commerce ‘social’

Mookh Africa co-founders Eric Thimba (left) and George Gachui

Kenya-based Mookh Africa makes it easy for people to buy and sell online. Co-founder and CEO Eric Thimba answers our questions.

1. Give us your elevator pitch.

We help merchants/sellers to quickly and easily start selling online. Through Mookh, a merchant is able to set up an online store that sells tickets, digital content or products on their website, social media, Mookh’s website as well as our mobile application. All online stores a merchant creates come with full payment integration that processes both mobile money and card transactions as well as a back-end dashboard where they are able to have full control of their online store.

2. How did you finance your startup?

Friends, family and savings.

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

Great tech is built by great developers. We would invest in acquiring great tech talent. Further we would invest aggressively in expanding our offering to other African markets.

4. What risks does your business face?

Regressive regulation. There is little regulation in this e-commerce space and with the way African governments are thinking about the internet, our hope is that they will not introduce any policies that would be detrimental to the growth of e-commerce.

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

Great customer service. When your clients are happy they tell others about your service. This has been by far our most effective marketing tool.

6. Describe your most exciting entrepreneurial moment.

Meeting with Mark Zuckerberg in 2017 and having an hour-long meeting with him.

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

There are so many! But I believe one big mistake we have made is taking too long to get rid of individuals that don’t add value to the product you are trying to build. That extra weight slows you down and also compromises the product itself.