Bumpa, an e-commerce solution startup helping African retailers manage and grow their businesses from their mobile phones, has closed a $200k pre-seed funding round. 

Ventures that participated in the round are Greencap Equity, Whogohost Venture Arm, Rizq Investment Group, Microtraction, and DFS Labs. Angel investors like Prosper Otemuyiwa, Oo Nwoye, and a few others also wrote checks for the round. 

Bumpa, founded by two notable Nigerian tech ecosystem operators Kelvin Umechukwu CEO and Adetunji Opayele CTO, enables merchants to set up their e-commerce store using their smartphones, without requiring coding skills.

Bumpa, a journey that began 8 years ago; long before it was built.

Umechukwu and Opayele met in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife where they studied mechanical engineering and law, respectively. 

On campus, they were individually popular for building apps and projects. And this common knack for solving problems brought and kept them together for 8 years, as friends and business partners.

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox

They forayed into various projects together and individually. But while running HostCabal, a startup they co-founded, they consulted for numerous SMEs on digitizing their businesses. This experience gave them firsthand insight into the needs and pain points of SMEs trying to take their business online.

“We then thought of a simple solution to help non tech-savvy small business owners set up their businesses online in the shortest possible time; that gave birth to Bumpa,” Opayele told TechCabal.

In recent times, more businesses are moving their supply chain processes online. Also, more consumers are increasingly spending time buying online than offline. 

Bumpa is unifying the fragmented value chain by providing its users with a one-stop shop for their business processes.  Bumpa merchants can accept online and offline payments, manage inventory/products, handle bookkeeping, fulfil orders and track sales, request dispatch riders & engage customers easily, and much more on the go with their smartphones.

What’s Bumpa’s growth like?

Since launching in February 2021, Bumpa says it has boarded over 7,000 merchants – like The Ajala Store and Lash Ng – on its platform listing over 30,000 products and recording over $500,000 in processed transactions; the startup is reportedly running at a 50% month-on-month growth rate.

Bumpa’s CEO, Kelvin Umechukwu with a Bumpa top user

The seven months old startup also recently got into the Microsoft for Startups, a program for growth-stage startups that provides free technical consultations, access to corporate partnerships alongside free access to enterprise software including Office 365, Github Enterprise, and Azure credits worth up to $25,000.

Competition, though still nascent, is picking up in the business management tool market. Bumpa has competitors like Sabi. Sabi recently closed an investment round and announced its 150,000 merchants milestone. There is also a new market entrant Chunk, which is gradually finding its share of the market. 

However, the business of taking SMEs online is a large market to serve. The market holds a pool of around 41 million SMEs. So the Bumpa’s seed round is expected to help in consolidating Bumpa’s position in the market as it plans to reach 200,000 merchants within the next year. 

Bumpa will also expand its internal team and roll out new features to better support merchants. The startup has plans to help onboarded businesses and grow their sales by at least 20% MoM. 

“Building the operating system for MSMEs in Africa can be daunting but having the right team, very supportive investors, and the best community of customers makes the work fun to do and a lot easier.” Bumpa’s CEO, Kelvin Umechukwu said while commenting on the funding. “I believe that a lot of small businesses will thrive as they begin to take advantage of technology for their growth and I’m very excited about the future of commerce in Africa because of what we are building at Bumpa.”

Speaking on their investment in Bumpa, Opeyemi Awoyemi, Venture Partner and Founder of Whogohost said, “It’s hard to build a “Shopify” that works well for small merchants in Africa. The Bumpa team understands this well – it took me less than a minute to set up a shop on Bumpa. They are building fit-for-market tools that will digitize informal markets and create value for millions of existing and first-time sellers”.

Bumpa is primarily based in Nigeria but has active users from other African and European countries. 

According to Adetunji Opayele, the company’s CTO, Bumpa plans to expand into other emerging markets especially in places like Southeast Asia and Latin America in the coming years.

Damilare Dosunmu Author

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox