Nigerian retail automation platform Bumpa raises $4M, led by Base10 Partners • TechCrunch
Millions of SMEs are still operating inefficiently due to reliance on manual processes, which limits their ability to grow and expand; This though It contributes to about 48% of Nigeria’s GDP In the past five years,
But the tide is changing. Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen a wave of startups launching solutions geared toward digitizing small business operations. In the latest developments, BombaOne of them successfully built the infrastructure to support online commerce and enable African small business owners to start, manage and grow their businesses from their mobile devices raising US$4 million.
which company announced 200 thousand dollars before incorporation last Septembersaid it intends to use the investment to hire talent, build its operations and structure and expand into new African markets.
The origin story of the platform can be traced back to 2018 when the founders Kelvin Omichoko And the Adetunji Opayele – While running another startup that involved consulting for small businesses – websites were created for small business owners interested in getting online for the first time. Later versions are designed in the image of Shopify: a basic website builder for small businesses that can be used without much help.
However, after gaining a bit of momentum, it was clear that Bumpa had to evolve to meet the growing demands of companies on the platform, including sales recording and bookkeeping, inventory tracking, and customer details storage. It also helped that both founders came from families of small business owners, so they had firsthand insight into these problems.
And with companies moving online in droves when COVID hit in 2020, Bumpa is back on the drawing board, revamping its product and launching a new version on the market the following year. This version allows companies Create websites in ’60 seconds’, accept payments, manage inventory, handle bookkeeping, fulfill orders, and engage customers.
We are trying to solve the shortcomings that small companies face because most of them have been working in a black hole for the longest time. “They don’t have enough data and insights into what’s going on, what’s being sold and how their products are being sold,” CEO Umechukwu said on a call with TechCrunch. “While many startups are trying to solve this, we do it differently. We evolve, and see our features as the foundation of what’s possible with Bumpa.”
Bumpa 2.0: Integrating a Product Ecosystem
These days, small businesses in Nigeria are spoiled for choice, in addition to Bumpa, for products that can digitize their operations, including bookkeeping, invoicing, and inventory management. some include pastelAnd the kiba And the OZÉ.
In August, Bumpa made a move that conveyed a message: It treated its relationship with small businesses differently as a retail automation company, not as an embedded financial platform.
“I think the ideology and product direction between Bumpa and other companies differ. Most of them have fintech elements. We’re not trying to be in the fintech space — we’re in the retail automation business,” CEO Umichoko said. We’re not trying to solve things that have already been resolved in the fintech space. There are new things that haven’t been tested before, like Meta integration.”
Bumpa’s integration with Meta allows its merchants to link their Instagram and Facebook accounts to the Bumpa app, receive direct messages from their customers and respond via the Bumpa app. The integration also allows them to share and sell products, share invoices/receipts, record sales, store buyers information and request payments on the Bumpa app as it is reflected on their customers’ Instagram messages. All these transactions are done without the merchants leaving Bumpa and the buyer leaving Instagram.
Many tech spectators have praised the Meta integration, which, according to Umechuko, will take Bumpa to its next stage: delivering diverse digital solutions essential to the daily operations of small businesses and integrating them into a social commerce and retail automation platform.
“There is a lot of fragmentation in the space. A business owner is probably using up to 10 solutions, including social media, payments, invoicing, logistics and market apps. But none of those solutions communicate with each other.” We want to be that communication platform in the continent. The idea now is to connect all of these solutions and channels that small businesses use with the click of a button and make it easier to transfer information for efficiency.”
However, Bomba will not blindly go to this arduous task. Priorities will be determined based on requests and activities completed on the platform. For example, what drove the Meta integration is that 40% of all orders on Bumpa come from Instagram and WhatsApp. And in a subtle effort to bring conversational commerce to more than 50,000 small businesses on its platform, the next two integrations will include WhatsApp, Messenger and Google My Business. The play is similar to what Charles in Europe.
However, these integrations are not free. Bumpa threw them in with a subscription plan to complement the first revenue stream: commissions on online transactions. Umechoko said the subscriptions doubled Bomba’s revenue from the second quarter to the third quarter of this year. Overall, Bumpa has completed more than 200,000 orders since its inception and has a GMV record of over $20 million.
Base10 Partners, The largest black box in the world, is the lead investor in the initial Bumpa round; It is the company’s second investment in Africa after Okra, a Nigerian financial technology API company. Other participating investors include Plug and Play Ventures, SHL Capital, a fund focused on emerging markets magic boxJedar Capital, DFS Labs, FirstCheck Africa Angel Program, E62 Ventures, Club14, Fast forward projects.
Obiemi Oyemi, managing partner of Fast Forward Ventures, said Bomba is doing what Shopify did in North America for Africa. Citing why his company has doubled on the social commerce platform after an initial $30,000 check before incorporation, he said Bomba “unlocks prosperity (and huge GDP) to millions of new and existing sellers.” The company’s operating partner, Omolara Awoyemi, is Bumpa’s COO.
Meanwhile, Lucy Fonseca, Director of Base10 Partners, said in a statement that Bomba is enabling e-commerce and reducing friction for millions of small and medium businesses. “The more time we spend with Kelvin and Adetunji Opayele (Teejay), the more we see that they are two very special founders with a strong mission to build the premier e-commerce platform in Nigeria and across Africa,” she added.