Safaricom's Masoko venturing into delivery of fruits and vegetables

Masoko, Safaricom's e-commerce portal, is set to venture into the whole food business with Masoko Fresh. That is according to Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore. He said this on Friday [07/09/2018] last week at a press briefing after the company's annual general meeting.

According to Kenyan Wall Street, Masoko Fresh is among the company's future plans.

Masoko has been offering electronics, beauty products, food and drinks among others. But through Masoko Fresh, they will support the delivery of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. They are looking to onboard small vendors for the initiative and are partnering with Beyond Fresh.

Masoko, launched in November last year, is one of the ways the telecom is leveraging its market leader position and M-Pesa.

To date, Masoko says that they have delivered to 45 out of 47 counties in Kenya. "The only places we haven’t received orders from are Samburu and Marsabit. For now,” Sharon Holi, the Head of E-commerce at Safaricom, says.

Masoko, according to their own research, said that "market penetration of e-commerce in Kenya doubled between 2016 and 2017."

This move puts Masoko into direct competition with Jumia Fresh which Jumia launched in May this year.

Among its future plans, Safaricom is also targeting 20 million farmers in Kenya through Digifarm. So far, the company has signed up at least one million farmers who can now access funds and inputs.

In October 2017, Safaricom launched an incubator named Alpha. The incubator's priority is to identify spending patterns on mPesa and turn those insights into additional Safaricom products. That is according to Chief Innovation Officer, Kamal Bhattacharya.

Masoko, DigiFarm, Bonga, music streaming app, Songa, and ride-hailing company, Little, are among the products Safaricom has churned out so far.

Also read: Uber and Little are looking to launch operations in Rwanda

Safaricom also launched an investing arm called Spark Venture Fund, worth $1 million. Through the fund, the company participated in mSurvey's $3.5 million Series A led by TLcom earlier this year. The company has also backed FarmDrive, Sendy and more through the fund.

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