Digital startup launches market place for businesses

John Karanja

Mr John Karanja, the Chief Executive Officer of MR Media.

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Platform offers space for buyers to search for items they want to shop.
  • The platform will also improve the businesses Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Kenyan digital startup, MR Media, has established a digital market place for business to exhibit products and services they offer, while offering a shopping arena for consumers who struggle to find different sets of goods and services.

Dubbed MR Media Directory, the platform provides space for different categories of businesses to set up an online shop, where they could tap additional clients to their existing ones, or start operations.

The digital platform’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr John Karanja, says the company established the marketplace to bridge the gap between businesses and consumers who face hurdles finding different products.

“MR Media directory was started after the listing of and was initiated when there became a need for us to have a directory where companies can list their products and category of their services they offer,” Mr Karanja said.

“We identified a situation where most people do not know where to get some specific services and products, thus coming up with this solution that offers corporates an avenue to advertise their products and meet their target customers, while growing sales at the same time,” he explained.

Mr Karanja further said the platform offers space for buyers to search for items they want to shop, while offering businesses with an advertising platform, and a new market.

Improving business operations

“It has three membership categories for businesses to enroll, including free membership where companies are not required to pay anything, to the premium category where companies are able to emphasize on their key products and we give them more space to advertise themselves,” he said.

Enterprises classified as beginners can benefit free access to the platform and enjoy benefits such as online listing and display of information showing their activities and physical address.

The enterprises placed under advanced category can enjoy services including engagement with clients by display of contact form, a blog to market their services, booking services, corporate email and get quarterly reports on their performance. The services come at a Sh6,500 charge.

The highest ranked category is full e-commerce who pay Sh10,500.

The startup argues that the innovation has the potential to improve operations of not only corporates but also small enterprises, by offering an advertising platform at low cost.

“It also gives a platform for companies to exhibit their services and products where the company runs an online trade fair. It leads to further marketing conversion to sales and brand promotion,” Mr Karanja said, noting that it has eased the hustle for consumers searching for businesses.

Supporting start-ups

The platform will also improve the businesses Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which helps businesses better market their products by having maximum reach in the market.

According to Mr Karanja, so far, the company has a wide reach, serving about 5 million clients on its email service and more than double through Short Message Service (SMS) interactions, which is a potential market for businesses that come on board.

“With this number of companies, it puts MR Media ahead of the other directories and gives advertising corporates a vantage point to reach their end customers. Ultimately, we will have a situation where the businesses grow their revenues by reaching more consumers, while consumers on the other hand have a place to get what they need,” he said.

Companies looking for employees or job seekers have an avenue to meet in the new directory, as the platform has space for jobs advertisement. The platform allows individuals to post job requests, while employers can also post job offers.

Among businesses that have already utilized the platform for marketing are in transport, electronics, property, lifestyle and beauty sectors.

“Our primary aim is supporting start-ups that do not have an advertising budget and would be locked up in advertisement and customer sensitisation. Buyers can also search different providers of variety of items and compare prices from the platform,” Mr Karanja said.