How Kenyan startup simplePOS is helping small businesses embrace electronic records keeping

simplePOS is an African startup revolutionizing records keeping among shops, dukas, kiosks, salons, manufacturers, suppliers, etc.

The startup started after the founder Anderson Riungu travelled to a Kenyan rural area and found out that small businesses keep their sales records on papers which most times get lost, torn or misused. This has always been a big problem for small businesses as it becomes so difficult for them to keep an accurate record of their sales, inventory, and finding out if they are gaining or losing in their businesses.

“Following a few days of trying to figure the books, I decided to create a simple application for him to just do his sales, and at the end of the day get reports of everything he sold. On coming back to Nairobi, I realized this pattern replicated in several other kiosks and barbershops, and that’s when I thought I could open up the original app for use by everyone.”

SimplePOS is made up of two versions – simplePOS and simplePOS Elite.

SimplePOS as an Android app is made with small businesses like dukas, kiosks, barbershops, etc in mind. Its features are:
• Create your own inventory
• Record every sale you make
• View daily, monthly sales reports
• Secure cloud storage of your data.

SimplePOS Elite which has both the mobile app and web variants is for businesses with distribution networks like suppliers, manufacturers, etc, with salespeople all over areas of operation. Its features are:
• Add your salespeople and assign region
• Create your own inventory
• Add your customers in different regions
• Receive orders from salespeople on behalf of customers in their regions
• Easily manage collections from salespeople
• View account receivables on customers the customer manages.

“I have a version of simplePOS called simplePOS Elite – this is for SMEs with distribution networks and salespeople already. It has a web and Android interface. I usually give it to them for free and have their salespeople market the generic one to the small shops. It is easier to get these small shops using our app if it is marketed to them by someone who has been selling to them for months or years, someone they know” says Riungu.

It is newsworthy to note that the startup already has over 6,000 shop owners using its app and has been able to go this far because of how less it costs to use the app.

Also, besides recording sales, the app allows users to perform POS transactions, create inventory, return lists, view sales reports and stock levels.

“With time, as we grow, we aim to enable the small businesses to order goods from partner suppliers within the app and also provide other services like loans in partnership with banks,” Riungu said.

Apart from Kenya, the startup hopes to extend to other countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Afric, Nigeria, etc.