KOKO Networks (KOKO), an international technology company with offices in East Africa and India, has launched a network of physical Internet-connected kiosks in Kenya's capital city, Nairobi.
The kiosks are known as "KOKOpoints" and are placed inside neighbourhood stores in Nairobi.
“KOKO Networks is focused on improving life for everyone in Africa’s cities. Our platform enables mass-market consumers, shopkeepers and suppliers to transact with greater speed, efficiency and insight than ever before. This is the future of commerce in urban Africa: smart, local and social.” said Greg Murray, Co-founder and CEO of KOKO Networks.
KOKOpoints work on a franchise model where successful franchisees, i.e. shopkeepers, pay KOKO a franchise fee for having the kiosk in their store.
For customers, the benefit is that of being able to pay via mobile money and purchasing products that are otherwise not available locally, "Customers pay electronically for their purchases – via mobile money, or through a range of payment options arranged with third-party lenders. Once an order is placed, KOKO’s systems ensure that delivery from the supplier to the local shop is completed in less than 24 hours. Customers then pick up their KOKO package at their convenience from the shop location, using a unique digital code sent to their phone." said KOKO when announcing their launch in Nairobi.
The first consumer product to be sold on the KOKO platform will be SmartCook® – a cooking solution that is said to consist of a 2 burner stove and a reusable smart fuel canister that can be docked and refilled at any KOKOpoint.
KOKO's SmartCook® announcement comes a few days after a Kenyan startup that offers a pay-as-you-go service for cooking gas, PayGo Energy, announced it had raised $1,43 million in a seed, debt and equity funding round to expand its business in Kenya.
“More than $400 million per year is spent on domestic cooking in Nairobi alone, much of that on slow, dirty and unsafe fuels. SmartCook’s solution is based on a liquid fuel which is cleaner to burn, safer to store, and cheaper to handle than solid or gaseous fuels. As KOKO expands across Nairobi, every resident will finally have access to a better way to cook.” concluded Amanda Donahue, General Manager of KOKO Networks Kenya.