I had a wonderful conversation with Mosmos co-founders recently and asked them the question,
"If you go back in time 2 years, when you were just starting Mosmos, what advice would you give to yourself?"
Chengo Masha's answer:
- Focus ruthlessly on understanding the customer's problem first.
- Don't get caught up in perfecting the solution too soon.
- Let customer feedback drive building the right solution.
Juliet Shiro Njoroge's answer:
- Have patience and persist in business conversations.
- It takes time to turn a lead into a partner.
- Keep sight of the opportunity and maintain persistence balanced with patience.
Mosmos has a different model than "buy now, pay later" credit models. Since they operate in Kenya, it can be challenging to understand this new business model without context. Here are my notes about Mosmos Africa:
Mosmos operates a "save now, buy later" model where customers save up for a product and receive it once fully paid off.
This differs from "buy now, pay later" credit models.
They focus on high-ticket, high-value products that require more planning and budgeting for customers. (Electronics like laptops, smartphones, TVs Vacation packages or trips, Home appliances like refrigerators, washing machines)
The model is designed to be flexible and align with customers' income streams, whether daily, weekly or monthly.
They offer a seamless user experience with timely reminders and progress tracking to encourage savings completion.
Mosmos has both a direct-to-consumer marketplace and partnerships with retailers to offer their payment solution.
Partnerships with leading local retailers provide customers product access, ability to see/test items.
Mosmos aims to provide competitive, affordable pricing compared to other retailers.
Customer-centricity is core to their model - solving pain points around difficult savings goals.
Mosmos aims to differentiate via great user experience and flexibility compared to traditional financing options.
Mosmos leverages mobile and digital payments to create an automated, transparent process.
Kenyan startup ecosystem
We have also discussed the Kenyan startup ecosystem, which has seen rapid growth and progress in recent years.
Kenya's startup success began with mobile money innovation. Improved infrastructure and government support expanded opportunities. Global investments flowed in. Funding started enabling local startups, initially concentrated in fintech but now diversifying. Support programs assist startups. Regulations are maturing the ecosystem. Challenges remain around later stage funding and scaling, but momentum continues around inclusion.