How a Kenyan Blockchain Platform is Helping Home Builders Buy Building Materials in Small Quantities

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – If your dream is to build a house, but you don’t know where to start, NyumbaMkononi says you can start in the palm of your hand.

The Kenyan startup operates a blockchain technology service that connects home builders with construction material suppliers by allowing them to purchase materials in small quantities from their mobile phones.

Company CEO NaftalNyabuto told Capital Business exclusively that they have invested 30 million shillings to build a solution that aims to help potential buyers with construction challenges by reducing costs by up to 30 %.

How it works

NyumbaMkononi uses a USSD mobile app-enabled system that gives future homeowners architectural prototypes and estimates of materials needed based on the size of their home.

The company then gives customers direct access to manufacturers with whom they have pre-negotiated to supply building materials at an already discounted rate.

“Through our blockchain, home builders can purchase materials in small quantities based on their daily income. For example, if someone earns $2 in a grocery store, he can select the material he wants and purchase 1 kg of cement rightly through M-PESA,” Nyabuto said.

He added that by using their interconnectivity with suppliers, the purchase is stored in real time and reflected in the customer account as “hardware”. This allows a customer to see their portfolio of building materials grow.

“We allow our customers to purchase materials without storing them on site where they can be stolen or spoiled. The concept also helps customers avoid using money haphazardly, as it cannot be diverted to other uses once engaged on the platform,” the CEO said.

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Nyabuto said the company hopes to significantly reduce the cost of construction by streamlining the value chain and eliminating brokers. He added that the company intended to give low-income people access to affordable credit, expose them to cheaper building alternatives and protect them from price fluctuations.

The biggest problems

Capital Business asked Nyabuto what his biggest challenge had been, which he listed convincing manufacturers and suppliers to join NyumbaMkononi. The CEO also cited the streamlining of construction value chains as another significant challenge.

To ease the hurdles, the CEO said the company has signed MoUs with various groups, including women’s groups, table banking groups in informal settlements, Chamas and Juakali associations, to make the dream a reality. .

The company works with workers in the informal sectors, medical and health personnel and BodaBoda associations, among others.

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