NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan telcom operator, Safaricom, plans to launch an
e-commerce platform in order to diversify its revenue base.
Safaricom Chief Financial Officer Satesh Kamath told an investor
briefing in Nairobi Friday that the digital platform dubbed Masoko
will initially have 200 vendors offering over 30,000 products.
“The e-commerce platform will connect businesses to other businesses
as well as businesses to consumers,” Kamath said when Safaricom
released its half year financial results for the half year ended
Sept. 30. He noted that trust remains a key barrier to online
shopping in Kenya.
“We hope to overcome this challenge by engaging only reputable
businesses on the digital platform,” he added. Kamath said that the
e-commerce platform comes at an ideal time when Kenya has very fast
and reliable internet.
According to the Communication Authority of Kenya April/June 2017
report, Kenya has about 28 million mobile money subscriptions.
Kamath said that the digital platform will tap into the growing
interest of online shopping among Kenyans.
“More and more Kenyans are turning to e-commerce due to its
convenience at delivering quality goods at affordable prices,” the
chief financial officer said.
He noted that the potential market for online shopping has not been
fully exploited by current e-commerce platforms available in the
“We see a huge opportunity which we can fully serve by leveraging on
our existing mobile money technology,” he said.
The Safaricom official added that the widespread availability of
mobile payment platforms has made it possible for Kenya to engage in
According to the financial results of Safaricom for the six months
to Sept. 30, net profit was 262 million U.S. dollars, representing a
9.5 percent increase compared to a similar period last year.
Similarly, service revenue grew by 12 percent to reach 1.09 billion
dollars while the total customer base increased by 10.8 percent to
hit 29.5 million subscribers.