“We were impressed by the DohYangu’s team’s deep understanding of the FMCG sector and the pain points that are faced by retailers and suppliers. The team has proved their ability to execute, having acquired a critical mass of customers on the consumer-facing app within one year of launching. We are excited to support this innovative and data-driven approach to marketing in the FMCG sector while also ensuring that price-sensitive customers can self-select for savings as they shop” shared our venture partner, Wanjiku Kimani.
The Baobab Network Project Week Experience
We had the pleasure of hosting the DohYangu team for an on-the-ground Baobab Network Project Week. How was the experience for the team?
Key takeaways: “The competitor analysis was great, we had never viewed other players in the cashback space in that light before,” said Dominic. “It was also eye-opening to take a deep dive into our business, unpacking it in its various components, and building it back structurally with The Baobab Network team.”
We learnt most from the customer persona building, go-to-market exercise, and pitch deck construction- especially with the upcoming fundraising.
We were pleasantly surprised by how knowledgeable The Baobab Network team was, even with our decades in the industry. We enjoyed the professionalism and data-driven methods in the sessions.”
“Going forward, we are seeing ourselves adopting the process we learned during The Baobab Network Project Week in our decisions. We start with the end in mind then break down the idea/goal into components for in-depth evaluation. Then build it up again.”
What next for DohYangu
“Our priority after The Baobab Network Project Week is securing some funding so we can continue to provide our 50,000+ users with more great deals and cashback. We are aiming for $1.5 million USD to scale.
The main goal is to be thought leaders in the retail industry. In the short term, we will keep leveraging our strengths to build a stronger route to market and grow customer traction. We plan to widen our footprint in the Kenyan market while mapping our entry into other East African markets. The objective is to reach 50% of the Kenyan modern retail shoppers in 12 months.”
Over the next 6 months, once funding is secured, the DohYangu team shared their goals:
- To build a versatile, applicable, and effective marketing strategy to ensure that traction & revenue goals are reached, as well as strongly positioning themselves in the market,
- Bringing in the right talent to build strong product development and customer-facing teams,
- Build the right features on the product,
- Have a strong data and analytics platform that is fit-for-use across all stakeholders.
“Longer-term, we plan to build a continental versatile system that will offer other value addition, but customer-driven features and services in the product.
- Big Data and analytics for the retailer and FMCG brands
- Vertically integrate DohYangu “currency” which can be used within the App ecosystem to transact without withdrawing the money
- Expansion to the informal retail – kiosks and Dukas – where >70% of consumption happens in the Kenyan market.”
The journey thus far
Over the 14 months since DohYangu launched, what challenges have they faced?
“As founders, coming from a corporate background and structure, establishing the organization from the bottom-up dealing with system cloud architecture, system security, databases, project management without a bigger team was a real challenge,” they shared.
“There were also challenges in making sure we were aligned with local regulations and had selected the right partners to meet DohYangu’s growing needs.”
“Fundraising has also been a real test, but since we began working with The Baobab Network, it has been much less of a hurdle. Before, we found that some local investors did not understand our product, therefore did not see the opportunity. With international investors, we needed handholding and referrals to penetrate their networks, and The Baobab Network team have certainly opened doors for us.”
A word to African founders
Here’s what the team had to say to other founders who are at the preliminary stages with their company, “Launching your start-up is not a bed of roses. It requires demanding work, creativity, tenacity, and resilience. Whilst it is the founders’ dream, not many people will see it that way. Be prepared to articulate your business or idea, break it down into simple morsels for easier understanding. Invest in the development, and proof of concept.”
Welcome to The Baobab Network, DohYangu. Here is to revolutionizing consumer marketing in the retail ecosystem! Watch this space.