Safaricom takes another shot at e-commerce with the development of a market place app

A market place app would be Safaricom’s second shot at expanding or revamping its e-commerce portfolio following the mixed results of Masoko

Safaricom is developing a market place App with the aim of enhancing its offering as the financial partner of choice.

Safaricom revealed the development of the app during the release of its 2019/2020 financial performance where the region’s biggest telco posted a net profit of Sh74.7 billion on revenue of Sh251.2b.

The company, through a virtual presentation, did not divulge more details about the market place app but it is supposedly aimed at creating an integrated payment lifestyle platform.

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The presentation also confirmed that a mobile money product dubbed Mali which is designed to drive a savings culture and wealth management is now being piloted.

A market place app would be Safaricom’s second shot at expanding or revamping its e-commerce portfolio following the mixed results of Masoko, which in its three years of operations has failed to take off as expected.

Towards the end of last year, Masoko ceased being an integrated online market place after it stopped listing products from partners and vendors.

“We are making changes on our marketplace, which will among others, see a reduction on a number of products available on sale in our platform. Consequently, this is to notify you that your product are amongst those affected and therefore we will not offer your product for sale within the next 7 days,” read part of the email sent to vendors on 5th November 2019.

Masoko now sells Safaricom-related devices and accessories, which is more of an online extension of the Safaricom physical shops.

It will be interesting to see how the market place app will be different from Masoko and how it will fit in Safaricom’s financial services portfolio.

Kenya’s e-commerce space is filling up quickly with players such as Jumia, Kilimall, gardensky and Copia competing for the larger pie of a potentially Sh400b market.