Social commerce is a rapidly growing sector, especially on the African continent. Over 384 million Africans use social media and there are over 281 million online shoppers on the continent. The market is expected to grow 70.3% annually to reach US$8 billion in 2022 and register a compound annual growth rate of 55.2% between 2022 and 2028, according to the Q1 2022 Social Commerce Survey .
One startup taking advantage of the social commerce boom is the Nigerian social commerce company, Bumpa. Founded in 2021 by Kelvin Umechukwu and Adetunji Opayele, Bumpa was created after the duo worked together at HostCabal, a web hosting company.
As internet usage spreads across the continent, the appeal of social commerce is growing, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Africa. Media like Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram help these small businesses attract customers conveniently and with minimal overhead. For the 44 million SMEs scattered across Africa, these social media platforms have changed the way they interact with customers.
Umechukwu and Opayele gained a deep understanding of the social commerce space in Africa as they built custom e-commerce websites for entrepreneurs with HostCabal, and with the advent of lockdown and the consequent downturn in SME business around the world, demand for their product has grown rapidly. This demand prompted them to start a business.
This company – Bumpa – has now raised a $4 million seed round led by Base10 Partners, with participation from Plug & Play Ventures, SHL Capital, Magic Fund, Jedar Capital, DFS Labs, FirstCheck Africa Angel Program, E62 Ventures , Club 14 and Fast Entreprises ahead.
Umechukwu said that for this round, Bumpa had chosen investors interested in e-commerce and retail automation in Africa.
On a call with TechCabal, Kelvin Umechukwu, co-founder and CEO of Bumpa, said that Bumpa has over 50,000 small businesses on its platform. Umechukwu also shared that these companies registered more than 200,000 orders and traded a gross goods value of $20 million. He added that his proudest achievement with Bumpa came when a user crossed 10,000 orders on Bumpa and went from 15 orders per week to 200 orders per week.
Bumpa started by helping businesses manage inventory, engage customers, and record sales. But now they want to take it a step further and help these small businesses connect everything, according to Umechukwu. “With Bumpa, we help business owners organize all the commerce that’s happening on their social media. They can see their top customers. They can see how much they’re earning on each of these social media platforms, like Instagram. They can collect all records and sell faster through Direct Messaging (DM) and Payment Requests because we have brought them all commerce tools in their DMS while chatting with a customer.” Bumpa currently believes that he can help its users save 25 hours a week, Umechukwu added.
Bumpa uses a commission and subscription business model. The startup charges commissions on every online transaction and launched a subscription product after integrating with Meta in August. Users can still access Bumpa for free, but they will be limited to only 25 products and 50 orders per month.
The social commerce startup space in Nigeria has seen a lot of activity lately, with fintechs like Paystack and Flutterwave launching storefronts for small businesses, and startups like Catlog and Simpu all providing solutions for SMEs that want to sell their products online. Bumpa’s competitive advantage, according to Umechukwu, stems from its focus on retail automation and data and inventory optimization for its customers. He added that Bumpa’s integration with Meta in August and an upcoming integration with Google Business in November will also help separate Bumpa from the rest.
Speaking on the raise, Luci Fonseca, Principal at Base10 Partners, said, “Bumpa is building a mission that we love and were thrilled to support, enabling e-commerce and reducing friction for millions of SMEs. The more time we spent with Kelvin and Teejay, the more we saw that they are very special founders and have a powerful mission to build the defining e-commerce platform in Nigeria and across Africa.
George Damouny, Partner at Plug and Play Ventures, added, “With its intuitive, mobile-focused user experience, Bumpa goes beyond the way small merchants transact and deliver a meaningful experience for customers. Kelvin and Teejay have built a sticky product and we are excited to support the team in their mission to reinvent commerce for traders across Africa.