There are many things I find truly fascinating about Safaricom. Things like Blaze.

Plus, even though they are the biggest (close to 70% market share), they don’t seem to be stopping any time soon. They are no longer just a telecoms company.

We don’t want to become a company for everything, we want to become a platform for everything. And in fact we’ve even moved on from using the word platform. We now use the word raft because platform is something which sits still. A raft is something which moves. And the world that we’re in today is moving at a particularly rapid pace. – Bob Collymore interview with Business Daily

When news of Little, their taxi hailing app, started spreading, I thought it wouldn’t work. Months later, it seems like they are progressing well.

Then weeks ago came the news of Safaricom Fibre in homes. And I was excited only to later realise, the service is only still available in some estates in Nairobi. Hopefully this will expand to other parts of Kenya.

Then…

Muthuri Kinyamu on Twitter

Safaricom is about to ruin the e-commerce party. Brace yourselves!

This Valentine’s we heard of something very new from Safaricom, an e-commerce platform called SafMall.

Okay not so new exactly. Plus, we may all be wrong because we already have Safaricom Shop online. This may just be an upgrade. But then again Safaricom tweets…

Safaricom Limited on Twitter

We are currently in trials for an exciting new e-commerce proposition which is currently being piloted by staff internally ahead of rollout.

Internally, amongst its staff, Safaricom was testing a new e-commerce platform with Flash sales of ridiculously priced phones. Maybe as a test of what the site can/should handle.

The fact that these were just phones “on sale” made me feel skeptical that it would just be a revamping of Safaricom Shop. But remember Jumia, Kilimall etc, thrive (I’d love to think) on smartphones and electronics.

SafMall staff offer

This might be real. And it would be a big disruption.

A check-up on Safmall.co.ke, which I consider will be the URL shows me the following:

Well..

Okay! This may take a while. Or may come as soon as next month.

If this happens, then Jumia and Kilimall are in for something they may have never planned for.

Think of it:

  1. Quality of products – Jumia has a lot of issues on this
  2. Getting people to know about the platform – Safaricom controls close to 70% market
  3. Offers – aha!
  4. Easy payments – Lipa na Mpesa
  5. Delivery – note that Safaricom backs up an on-demand delivery company called Sendy