14/06/2024
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Bosso: The Award-Winning Startup Transforming The $400 million Zambian Construction Industry.

To have an idea is one thing, but to execute that idea into an innovative brand that customers see value in, and investors are willing to back with 1 million dollars, is quite another. The year 2022 was a critical year for Bosso, explains Salwa, Bosso’s Co-founder and CFO. “We were testing our assumptions in the market and building a pipeline of customers and manufacturers. Imagine building an airplane midway through the flight, that is what Bosso was in 2022. Every dollar we got from investors was to buy fuel for that flight and get the customers to their destination,” he says.

Bosso is a B2B2C e-commerce platform that has digitized the construction supply chain, making it easier and more affordable for businesses and individuals to buy construction materials.  Bosso’s main customers are small and medium-sized hardware stores, but it has big ambitions in this marketplace. The global hardware store industry is worth over $105 billion dollars and the construction industry in Africa is over half a trillion dollars.

Bosso already has some large partners in the construction space that are backing its brand, most notably Saint Gobain and Chilanga Cement. It is also part of an accelerator backed by one of the largest players in the construction, real estate, mobility and energy sector, VINCI Construction.

The strength of Bosso is the team. Chisepo Chirwa, the company CEO, is a two-time founder along with the company CTO, Mukopaje Singogo. Together, they started an inventory management company focused on informal retailers over six years ago. They built that company into one of Zambia’s largest inventory management software companies and then the Bosso opportunity presented itself. “It’s hard to divorce your wife, in order to marry a new wife,”  says Chisepo. “That was what it felt like. I love ZPOS, the staff, and all the lessons it taught me, but in my heart, it was time. I am a problem solver and Bosso presented a large enough problem that needed someone to solve. I found a large enough challenge and so it was time for me to move on and let someone else’s vision push ZPOS to the next level.”

Ibn Kafwanka, the COO, told his boss at his last company that he was quitting to do Bosso. “The safe play for me was to stay employed and let someone else take the risk, but that is how you miss a great opportunity. I always knew that at the end of my career, I was going to have to start a business anyway.”

So, what is the outlook for Bosso? Chisepo says, “We have clear skies and no excuses. We have raised money, found some excellent partners, built a solid core team and are selling our services and products in marketplaces. We are building a technology company that will solve the housing crisis through innovation. A hundred things can still go wrong, and we don’t have all the answers, but we are not new to business. We have been through a recession, cholera outbreak, and a global pandemic, and all our previous companies made it through. We are Africans and we are built to do tough things.”

If you are a hardware business owner, then save yourself time and money by contacting Bosso.  If you are a contractor, real estate developer or home builder, we have the materials you need to build.

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