StockApp Journey and Success so Far
- Kennedy Gitonga (Founder of StockApp)
It is slightly over one year since we launched StockApp. We did it with a lot of hopes even though we were swimming in an ocean we knew nothing about. Friends congratulated us and some even promised to be among the first users of our new innovation.
We were very happy and optimistic. We saw several downloads and sign ups from people we knew and some we didn’t, but after the seven days trial period we didn’t see them again. I was the sales person moving from one shop to another looking for customers. Some guys were friendly and told me they were not ready for such a technology, some looked me in the face and said they aren’t interested and others ignored me.
This went on for nearly a month or so and in late June, 2019 we received our very first payment from our first customer. The experience was really exciting. At that time StockApp was more of an inventory system (capturing stocks, purchases and sales ONLY). Along the journey we started to improve the quality of StockApp based on feedback we got from users. This helped us include more and more features and slowly moved from just being an inventory tool to a fintech solution.
Three months down the line, during the Mombasa International Show we were named the best innovation under Mombasa County ICT department in the category of Enhanced Manufacturing Sector. This gave us the morale to keep moving on even though we had only four customers.
I remember the number of times my partner, Peter Mash and I were taking strong tea and KDF in my single room (which doubled as our office) as we discussed the future plans involving StockApp. It’s not once or twice my Mum (Best Friend Ever) paid my rent because StockApp couldn’t pay our bills. The little we got was for buying bundles and airtime to call the customers when they create an account (We have a good Customer Care Service by the way). I had to squeeze every coin to ensure we don’t miss a meeting in town or when a customer calls for help. We pushed this until the year ended.
Like any other person in Kenya or perhaps in the world, the very first day of 2020 we had our New Year Resolution. We hoped that 2020 will bring us good fortune, greatness and success. We kept doing our thing and prayed to God that things work well for us. I knocked doors looking for partners we can work with, including Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KNCCI) Mombasa Chapter, Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA) Mombasa Offices, Several Banks, Saccos among others.
Towards the end of January, we started getting downloads and signups from out of the country. We saw guys creating accounts from countries I least expected, like Bhutan, Brunei, Myanmar and others. Some were from countries I have always admired to visit like Kiribati, Dominica, Estonia, Fiji and many more. With all these exciting experiences, things were still very tough for us. We were still trying to add the sales through different strategies where some worked and some didn’t. All this time, I tried requesting different blogs to feature our innovation but all fell on deaf ears. Until one day I talked to my friend, Akwabi Paul who gave me the number of this amazing lady who decided to feature our story on Daily Nation. On 3rd March 2020, I woke up as usual and I started seeing these very many downloads. At around 9am, I got a congratulation text from my twin brother, KevinlyNgatiah saying “Kazi Nzuri Chief.” Things started changing. On 13th March 2020, we got our first international client from Scotland and later from Zambia, Nigeria, Ireland, Bangladesh, India and Philippines.
With COVID-19 affecting every sector of the economy, we still hope that as we start the second-year journey, better things will happen. I have learnt so many things throughout the one year and I will share them in due time. From business, to friends, relationships to entrepreneurship, and many more. For all the people who supported us, thank you so much for trusting our idea. We promise to keep delivering even more
You can download Stockapp here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.stockapp.starter