Jumba launched in April this year, is out to bridge this gap through an online platform that allows operators of hardware stores (construction materials retailers), which are found on almost every block, to seamlessly restock.
“We have started to expand our products according to regional demands and the needs of hardware stores. The idea is to make Jumba the source of all construction materials in Kenya and, when we eventually grow, beyond its borders,” Jumba CEO Kagure Wamunyu, who co-founded the startup with Miano Njoka (CTO).
The pre-seed round was led by Enza Capital with participation from Seedstars International Ventures, Chandaria Capital, Future Africa, Logos Ventures, First Check Africa and a number of angel investors.
“Africa’s populations are rapidly growing and increasingly urbanizing, and the construction industry is a core economic engine supporting sustainable growth Across Africa,” Enza Capital’s managing partner Mike Mompi.
“In a US$10 trillion industry yet to be reshaped by technology, we are thrilled to be backing Kagure and the exceptional team-building Jumba.”
As Jumba connects manufacturers with retailers, the startup will also ensure that the small hardware stores (which don’t have sufficient storage) will be connected to medium-sized ones near their regions from where they can easily update their inventories, taking away the pressure for spatial expansion.
“We will partner with different retailers in different neighborhoods who then can support the smaller ones, as opposed to working with a warehouse model. We will be supplying these big players and the smaller hardware stores will be picking their stock from these locations,” Jumba CEO Kagure Wamunyu.
Jumba negotiates prices (including their markup) of products with manufacturers. It also allows resellers to pay for orders on delivery.
Wamunyu says that they are also considering introducing the buy-now-pay-later option (BNPL) to allow their best-performing clients to broaden their stock and increase their earnings.