CEO of Kippa, Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph, discusses his firm’s mission serving to African SMEs to handle their funds

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On this interview with Enterprise Insider Africa, he discusses among the outstanding developments which have taken place because the fundraising. Benefit from the dialog.

BI Africa: Congratulations in your latest $3.2 million pre-seed fundraising. Can you’re taking us via among the outstanding developments which have taken place at Kippa since finalising the spherical?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: We’ve targeted on two vital issues: continued improvement of product and expertise to ship worth to retailers, and rising our world staff with probably the most gifted individuals. After we give it some thought, constructing expertise that solves issues is barely attainable on the intersection of those two issues. Extra importantly, we’re ready to think about larger, scaled-up merchandise, and that is important after we are attempting to perform such audacious objectives.

BI Africa: For the advantage of a few of our readers who could not know you, may you inform us a bit extra about what Kippa does?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Kippa is a full service finance administration answer constructed for small companies in Africa to handle their enterprise funds. Retailers use Kippa to file their day by day earnings and expense transactions, handle their stock, and automate the debt recollection course of.

Earlier than constructing the corporate, we travelled throughout Nigeria and realised that on a foundational degree, these are the largest the reason why small companies in Africa stay small and don’t scale. 95% of small companies in Nigeria (our major market) die within the first 5 years – constructing generational companies isn’t the norm in our a part of the world. In making an attempt to unravel that downside, we additionally found the necessity for ease in accepting funds and promoting to extra prospects for this class of companies, so we’re additionally engaged on merchandise to unravel these issues.

BI Africa: How did you give you the concept for Kippa? Is there any specific downside you got down to remedy?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Earlier than we began Kippa we took a visit round our nation, Nigeria. We visited retailers in numerous states to know how they interacted with funds in enterprise. The consequence was the presence of a singular alternative to cater to a beforehand ignored section.

After we began out, we wished to assist small companies run extra profitably and sustainably. African companies function informally and this lack of construction permits companies to lose thousands and thousands of {dollars} yearly. Unpaid debt mishandled information and poor stock administration means these companies are unable to develop like companies in different elements of the world.

BI Africa: Kippa has been round for lower than a yr and nonetheless has managed to file vital success. What would you say are among the components driving the corporate’s development?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Probably the most important success issue is the intimate, candid understanding of the wants of our customers, and the resultant pace at which we innovate for small companies in Africa. Historically, these companies are ignored and shut out of the present monetary system. We see this as a bonus for us, as a result of it supplies us room to construct extra infrastructure and options for them, consequently making us extra highly effective at scale.

BI Africa: In view of the presence of different software program as a service apps throughout Africa, what would you say stands Kippa out?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: That is the golden period of expertise in Africa, and we’re proud to be surrounded and supported by different firms constructing at breakneck pace. A number of issues make Kippa stand out: our self-discipline round our buyer section focus and our product method – constructing for retailers who’re coming on-line for the primary time requires a radically totally different method to design and improvement. Our product ecosystem additionally permits companies to hyperlink totally different features of their enterprise on one app and that in some ways simplifies operating all of the shifting elements of a enterprise.

Bi Africa: Which different African international locations, moreover Nigeria, is your service at the moment accessible in?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: At present, we’re solely accessible in Nigeria and that’s as a result of it’s such an vital market to unravel for and probably the greatest representations of the African market. Nevertheless, as we consolidate our momentum in Nigeria, enlargement to different African markets will develop into precedence.

BI Africa: Speak us via your development projections/forecasts. The place do you see Kippa within the subsequent 3 to 5 years?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Our aim is to construct the built-in end-to-end software program stack and be the #1 supplier of important instruments and companies for small companies in Africa. In 5 years, we would like each small enterprise to be operating on Kippa-built software program or utilizing a number of of our companies.

BI Africa: As a younger tech founder in Africa, what has the expertise been like for you and what recommendation do you have got for different younger, aspiring tech entrepreneurs?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Constructing an organization has supplied me the one greatest alternative to scale myself. It’s one factor to got down to remedy such an formidable downside, it’s one other factor to guide a staff to amplify the execution on an even bigger scale than once you set out. My recommendation might be cliche, however there’s a cause sure issues are cliche: as a younger aspiring entrepreneur, spend time determining if that is one of the simplest ways so that you can create an affect on the earth. Often one of the simplest ways to take action could be by working at a fast-growing startup. Moreover, encompass your self with sensible and gifted individuals with who you may have enjoyable with as you construct and develop. A mixture of grit, back-of-brain motivation and technical competence scale your potential to efficiently construct and develop a startup.


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