Safaricom Plc, the listed telecommunications company, has dropped its Masoko e-commerce platform from the list of its priority products to focus on the M-PESA electronic cash transfer platform.
“Masoko, it has been deprioritized because we are accelerating our focus on M-Pesa and some of the other product lines that we need to do,” said Sateesh Kamath, the Vodafone Business chief finance officer (CFO).
The Masoko platform has struggled to compete with market leaders such as Jumia, which hosts more than 10,000 vendors selling over 3.5 million products.
The Masoko e-commerce platform was designed to harness the power of mobile commerce through an all-inclusive infrastructure.
Owing to stiff competition, Safaricom has had to scale down on the team working on the platform.
“We are very happy for e-commerce companies to flourish. So, whether it’s competitors like Jumia of AliExpress or whoever it is, when they flourish we are happy because our core M-Pesa business also grows,” said Mr Kamath.
Safaricom has also cut down on the number of products available on Masoko and terminated ties with several vendors.
In December 2019, Safaricom revamped Masokowith a new logo and fresh user interface after it removed third-party vendors from its platform depleting it of many products.
The portal was launched on 21st November 2017 and is being retired after barely three years in operation. The goal was to provide local merchants with unlimited potential to sell their products and services via an online platform.
Users of the platform were to access items ranging from groceries to books to auto parts. It began with close to 200 vendors offering over 20,000 products.
Masoko accepts all mobile money payments as well as Visa and MasterCard payments and was designed to offer a dedicated delivery fulfillment partners such as Wells Fargo and Sendy to provide a seamless customer experience.
The platform offers brands in tech, fashion, latest trends and everyday essentials at the click of a button through either their mobile phones or computers.
The telco says Masoko is no longer among its priority areas, and it is willing to forge partnerships with other e-commerce players for the benefit of M-Pesa.