Weeks after Starlink by Elon Musk’s satellite company SpaceX started to ship in Nigeria, a young, still little-known company Keza Africa announced that it had listed Starlink on its platform of products users can buy now and pay small-small. It didn’t seem like the type of product listed on a pay small-small platform. The chief reason is that Starlink is expensive, almost a luxury product for the elite one per cent of society.
But Keza Africa was on to something. When you live in one of the big cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt, or Abuja, it is easy to forget the low internet penetration endemic in the country. It was this problem that Keza Africa sought to solve.
The company saw an opportunity to help working professionals in less urban communities access Starlink. a move that fits perfectly with its mission of providing work tools for Africans. In a digitally savvy world, the internet is an essential work tool.
A member of the inaugural ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator Program, which had its demo day just last week,
“One per cent of funds raised by startups in the pre-seed category typically goes towards purchasing of work tools,” the chief executive and founder of Keza Africa, Aisha Hussaini, said at the Techstars demo day last week. “All of this points to one single fact; that work tools are not available for the average African. With this lack of access, not only will productivity be limited on the continent, but the average income that an African can earn will be extraordinarily limited,” she added.
Keza Africa aims to solve the problem of access to gadgets needed for professionals to complete their daily tasks. This is why a Starlink satellite internet offering is core to the company’s mission.
“400 million Africans do not own a smartphone or a laptop,” Hussaini told Technext in a recent interview. She said that a device financing company like Keza Africa is vital to solving this. “We are a device financing company that enables people to own the work tools they need today and pay in flexible instalments,” she added.
Already the company is showing great promise from investors, being touted as “another African unicorn on the rise” by Lola Esan, a partner at the global firm Ernst and Young Global Limited.
“We are solving the problem of non-affordability of certain devices that help people to be more productive,” the Keza Africa executive said. “Right now in Nigeria, when people want to own certain devices, especially devices like their smartphones, laptops, internet connection, they find that it’s more expensive for them simply because of pricing. Forex is not on our side in this part of the world.
Things that people need right now, today, are not affordable for them. So they have to save for months before they can own these devices. We are enabling people to own today what they need and pay over time.”
The company said it ships the devices within 24 hours after the customer’s request is approved.
Hussaini told Technext that appropriate work tools are not just important to get the work done; they play a key role in increasing professionals’ earnings.
“What we are doing is super important because non-affordability of these types of devices tends to keep people in a place where they are not productive and they are not able to achieve the goals that they have for themselves. With this, people can be more productive and there is a chance that they can increase their earning potential.
“It’s super important,” she added.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!