A Kenyan startup Paytree is providing a lifeline for small businesses looking to cut on overheads like rent, by providing a free e-commerce store where they can list their products and reach the masses online. The online mall comes complete with built-in payment solution and last-mile delivery services.
The startup was founded in August 2018, and is already reported to be housing at least 300 merchants on the e-commerce store. Paytree comes packed into three products:
Integrated payment tool Paytree Direct
Payments distribution system Parallel
Online shop platform Mzizzi
The main product being Mzizzi, which the founders say was the first African-found solution that allowed SMEs to open a fully branded shop online and for free. The Mzizzi platform has also integrated all the major mobile money payment options in Kenya. Including all the major cards and banks.
The founders boast that it takes about a week from the time a business enlist to the time they are ready to start selling on the platform. They pride themselves in speedy and efficient operations. Their speedy enrollment of new merchants into the program is marched with their speedy processing of payments made on the merchandise bought on the platform. Paytree also does delivery of the bought products to any parts of Kenya.
“Mzizzi serves merchants of all sizes, from global brands such as Subaru to small-time entrepreneurs who are just starting up, and exposes their products to a continent-wide audience in a way that wasn’t possible before,” said Davy Ngugi the Director at Paytree during an interview with a section of the media.
“The cost of setting up a fully fledged e-commerce shop for any business, especially SMEs, can be quite high. Integrating with payment providers is a major headache, and delivery, even for established brands, is a real nightmare.
Mizizzi is very different from a marketplace. What you find with Mzizzi is everything from people trying to grow their businesses while having regular employment, and more recently all the way up to global brands. Africa is still a nascent industry in e-commerce, we are working hard to get it right.”