Announcing our Investment in Bumpa! 🎉🎉
Bumpa helps SMBs manage and grow their business both online and offline.
- Kelvin Umechukwu, CEO and Co-founder: Kelvin worked as the Incubation Program Manager of Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), Africa’s largest Innovation Hub, where he supported early-stage startups. He was the Head of Business Development & Program Manager at TechQuest STEM Academy. Kelvin is the founder of Consonance Club, a tech community of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs.
- Adetunji Opayele, CTO and Co-founder: Adetunji has 8+ years experience as a software developer building fintech products, mobile money services, and e-commerce products. He previously worked at E-Settlement Limited as a senior software engineer and founded HostCabal, a web hosting platform.
For the typical small and medium business (SMB) owner, there isn’t reliable commercial software that makes day-to-day operations seamless. Tasks such as inventory management and e-commerce solutions management though quotidian are met with complex and upfront expensive solutions which do not help with customer acquisition or retention.
Currently, merchants and business owners rely on multiple Excel spreadsheets or good ol’ notebooks to calculate the present state of their business.
With rapid mobile and internet penetration across the continent, SMBs are ready to take advantage of technology tools in their businesses. Bumpa sees the future of digital commerce in Africa as being mobile, both online and offline, and conversational.
Bumpa is an online inventory management and marketing tool that helps merchants sell, manage and track everything in their business from a mobile phone — making it easy for them to engage leads and customers, grow their business, and access various services (technical, commercial, marketing, etc.)
Many of Africa’s 100m small businesses sell out of one channel (usually a physical storefront) or execute orders in silos — an Instagram account, a WhatsApp business account, and rarely through a website. Bumpa is consolidating these efforts, helping companies mount websites in 30 seconds and start processing orders in 30 more.
Apart from moving them digital, Bumpa helps businesses track their inventory and sales information across various platforms they are set up on — Twitter, Jiji, Jumia, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc., and helps them make sense of this information.
Using Bumpa, merchants can also handle their bookkeeping from physical sales and manage the inventory connected to their Bumpa website — all from their mobile phone.
Bumpa also provides a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, allowing merchants send SMSes and emails to customers or a customer segment e.g. customers that haven’t made more than 1 order in a specific time period. This allows for smarter customer engagement and retention.
“Commerce in Africa is fragmented. This makes doing business very hard for small business owners. Our work at Bumpa centres around enabling these business owners track their orders, inventory and customers across all their sales channels. This will also help digitize traditional businesses and give them the opportunity to sell through more channels and gain actionable insights to grow their businesses. We are currently laying the foundation of the infrastructure that will power digital commerce for African sellers in the coming months and years.” — Kelvin Umechukwu
How it works
The Bumpa application can be accessed via the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. First-time users can download and register on the merchant platform using the mobile application from the Android or Apple application stores, and the web app.
As part of the registration process, merchants are able to select a customised store domain that will double as their website. Once they’re logged in, merchants can upload/manage their products to start selling or get discovered by Google and other search engines almost immediately.
Bumpa’s dashboard gives merchants access to their sales volume, the day’s numbers, total customers, and new customers. Users are also able to fulfill orders, track sales and accept online payments.
With the application, merchants are able to request a logistics vendor to deliver their physical products based on the location of the customers. The Customers, Orders, and Transaction History tabs also give users access to the categorized information in one go.
Statista estimates the internet penetration rate in West Africa to be 42% (as at January 2021), while South Africa’s rate of 62% is higher than the world’s average of 59.5% for the same time period. The platform also projects that the total value of e-commerce in Africa will reach $29B in 2022, up from 2017’s $16.5B.
While the initial statistic points to more than half of the region being unconnected to the internet, many of Nigeria’s estimated 30M tech-savvy SMBs have their digital ordering practice set in silos, handled by a mix of software/social media and manual processes.
Nigeria, which houses a sixth of the continent’s population is Africa’s largest Business-to-Consumer (B2C) market in the amount of revenue and number of shoppers. Our thesis is that retail online shopping will continue to expand rapidly in the coming years, with customers leaning towards digital commerce businesses that unify backend and customer experience processes.
Tunji and Kelvin met nearly a decade ago while in the university. Although Tunji was studying Law at the time, he was also teaching web development classes. He went on to build InsideMarket while Kelvin built Voisapp. Since they were both building technology applications, Kelvin and Tunji connected on a founder level. Kelvin would later join Tunji to lead business development efforts at his company at the time — HostCabal, a web hosting service.
Before co-founding Bumpa, Kelvin and Tunji interacted with numerous startups and SMBs in their roles at CcHub and E-Settlement, many times helping those companies build and grow their product and business lines. These experiences showed them that they could build a single platform to cater to every single need of a digital commerce merchant.
The Microtraction team is impressed with the team’s hustle, focused outlook on automating processes for SMB owners, and the continuous expansion of their service offerings.
At the time of our investment, Bumpa had an inventory size of $2M and a customer base of 2,500 merchants. The company has been growing at an average of 50% MoM since then, bringing their customer base to >7,000 customers — more than 2,000 of whom joined in the last month.
More than 36,000 products have been listed on Bumpa merchant sites so far, totaling $500K in orders.
The pandemic pushed digital commerce to the fore for both retail and enterprise buyers. For many of them, this has meant having to utilize online channels, primarily social media. Many merchants find this migration process non-intuitive, complex, and expensive.
The team at Bumpa realizes that the merchant of today needs to go past physical storefronts and so are building the infrastructure that will power digital commerce for African sellers. By removing attendant complexities and the need for developers, Bumpa hopes to give the control back to the merchant.
In the next quarter, Bumpa will double down on its connectivity play, merging the most frequently used SMB management services on the app to provide a truly cohesive product that will make running a business easier. Whether it’s order management, customer engagement, and retention, accounting, logistics, or payroll, merchants will be able to access the low-cost infrastructure to scale demand and run their business more efficiently.
We are pleased to announce our investment in Bumpa alongside our friends at DFS Labs, HoaQ Club, Greencap Equity, Rizq Investment Group, Aidi Ventures, and the Whogohost Venture Arm.
At Microtraction, our long-term mission is to accelerate Africa’s transition to a sustainable and developed economy. We do this by investing in entrepreneurs who leverage technology, capital, and innovation to try and solve some of the largest problems on the continent. If you are working on solving one of these problems, we should talk!
Sign up for Opentraction, our newsletter where we share actionable insights and real-world advice from founders & operators who are building venture-backed startups in Africa
🚀 Have or know a tech product I should be aware of? Let’s talk
💰 Are you a founder of a startup? Apply for funding
💭 Just want to give us feedback? Please reach out
🐦 Don’t want to miss Microtraction news, updates? Sign up for Opentraction