Zimbabwean startup Otarkie has launched a SaaS platform for retailers seeking omni-channel ways to sell online.
Launched in October of last year by Brandon Musa and Tafadzwa Chamisa, Otarkie supports headless e-commerce and allows merchants to design, launch and manage their own retail operations across multiple sales channels, with one back-end office.
Another core feature of the platform allows retailers to pick and integrate with the separate modules they require, such as hosting, cart, payments, fulfillment, and logistics.
“Building out all the technical and operational requirements of e-commerce is costly and time intensive for a lot of businesses. The current solutions were either incomplete or did not address the socio-economic nuances of the markets they expanded into,” Musa, referring to the likes of Shopify, told Disrupt Africa.
“They do not facilitate the proper support, fulfilment and payments facilities in most African countries, at least not as well as they do in more developed markets.”
In Otarkie, on the other hand, Musa believes he has helped launch a platform that seeks to understand the markets in which it operates. Bootstrapped so far, the company has yet to raise external capital but does have a relationship with ZimSwitch. Zimbabwe’s largest banking and financial services network, to allow for easy online local payments. It is already earning revenues from subscriptions.
“Uptake has been steadily growing. We started by introducing our solution to small businesses. However, we observed that their LTV was not very high. So we pivoted towards tackling relatively large brands who are looking to develop direct-to-consumer business models. Recently we onboarded Dairiboard, Zimbabwe’s largest dairy products manufacturer,” Musa said.
For now only operating in Zimbabwe, Otarkie nonetheless has plans to move further afield.
“We have immediate plans to expand into neighbouring markets such as Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and South Africa,” said Musa.