With all the fuss over Groupon’s dubious IPO, there has not been much other news in the public eye in the group buying industry. In South Africa, things have been growing steadily and the arena is going to arch a peak this year and Adam Smith’s little invisible economic hand will do the sorting.
So let’s take a lighter look at group buying this week. I keep a very lose eye on the industry globally. How are things going in other countries, in Africa, and more specifically, in Kenya? Naturally the group buying model goes well in countries with some sort of internet penetration. South Africa’s has been quoted as anything from 7% to 15%, depending who you ask, and this gives us an “internet population” of anywhere up to 7.5 million. Kenya seems to have around 6 million already.
According to a man on the ground in Kenya, Mark Kaigwa, and some funky Google skills, I find the following are in the mix in Kenya’s group buying scene:
Rupu is seemingly the biggest, but I watched it recently drop on Alexa, and can’t imagine why. Earlier this year they partnered with Eat Out Kenya. Seemingly the one to beat.
This one uses the same website that old Twangoo used, so there went my dinner. However, do they then potentially have the connections to get on the Groupon bandwagon? This could be interesting.
Mark Kaigwa mentions them as the first to market, and, like Wicount in South Africa, that doesn’t ensure first place.
I also noticed this website a while back in Kenya and now see that they are not operating any longer.
This doesn’t seem to be group buying to me, but nevertheless one to watch.
I came across http://www.groupbuykenya.com/ as well, and I’m sure there are more lying around in cyberspace. Zetu and Rupu were also featured in this post.
Group Buying in Kenya
However, this all means that Kenya has a very, very small market, which I’m told is due to a smaller infrastructure, but also the difficulties facing small online businesses as well as a different set of payment options in Kenya.
A difficult whois check finds that most of the top global group buying sites’ domain names have been registered – not always by the company themselves. All of this makes for a gap where we could see things changing rapidly soon, as Kenya has the potential to be yet another fresh group buying marketplace.
Do you have any news on Kenya’s group buying scene?