Sheriff Shittu, former business analyst at Nigeria’s e-tailer, Konga, is working on yet another venture. Dubbed Lokoso, Sheriff describes it as “Uber for home services”.
Sheriff has been a busy bee of late. In 2014, he left his role as a business analyst at Konga to join zimafashion.com as a COO, and about six months after in Q1 2015, he launched an online furniture venture, showroom.ng, scaling back his role at Zima Fashion to an advisory capacity. Now he is doing something new.
We found out because he reached out to his friends on Facebook to participate in a trial of the service that launches today. Said trial is available to people who live in the Lekki-Ajah, Yaba, Ikeja and Ketu areas of Lagos.
We reached out to Sheriff for more information, and he confirmed to TechCabal that he is, indeed launching a home service/maintenance company that will connect semi-skilled artisans with home owners. Said artisans will be verified to ensure safety and accountability.
“You need a generator guy? In 30 mins – 1 hour, he gets to your home or office to fix your machine,” Sheriff told TechCabal via email.
The idea, he says, came in response to inbound requests from the customers of his furniture sales website. In his telling, they kept sending in requests for additional services to help them settle down in their homes, because they found it difficult to find trustworthy help. Showroom and Lokoso will be separate and complementary businesses.
Depending on how long you’ve been following Nigerian tech for, you might know that Lokoso.com used to be a price comparison engine that never quite took off. Naspers’ PriceCheck entered that space in 2013, which all but assured the death of that idea. The new Lokoso is not a pivot. The name is the same, but it’s a new business altogether.
Like always, however, the devil is in the details. Many questions about security and the responsibility to maintain safety on classifieds and service discovery platforms have trailed the kidnapping incident that was said to have occurred on OLX. The Lokoso website is still apparently under construction (it displays some super basic coming soon text if you visit the URL), so we have no idea what it’ll look like. But we’re hoping Sheriff has a plan and will design the experience in a way that engenders trust between all the parties concerned.
If all goes according to plan, the site should go live this week. In the beginning, the only artisans that will be available for hire will be carpenters, cleaners, electricians, mechanics, generator repair guys and plumbers. Other service types will be added over time.