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Technology

Duo makes tidy sum in online customer follow-ups for firms

Biasharabot founders Felix Cheruiyot (left) and Moses Korir during the interview at their office.
Biasharabot founders Felix Cheruiyot (left) and Moses Korir during the interview at their office. The Facebook-based platform enables traders to sell online as well as facilitate a secure platform for shoppers to buy products. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Biasharabot Customer Support Online founders Moses Korir and Felix Cheruiyot cemented their friendship during their years at Cheptenya High School in Kericho County 17 years ago.

Korir studied Actuarial Science at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology while Cheruiyot acquired a degree in Computer Science from Kenyatta University before teaming up to form a social media market platform for local businesses.

“Many companies display items for sale online but hardly make follow-ups or regularly update their social media pages and that is the opportunity we saw for Biasharabot,” said Mr Korir in an interview.

The two set up Biashara Viral Gains Limited, an information, communication and technology consultancy in Nairobi. The firm handles contracts for setting up websites and interactive online portals for corporates. They were hired to set up an online portal for the Ministry of Agriculture in Uganda.

The platform enables farmers to acquire licences and information on various issues.

They then headed to Rwanda where they formulated a document management solution for the Ministry of Justice.

“We also built an interactive betting and fantasy sports solution for a local betting firm, among other small jobs, but are now concentrating on Biasharabot which has attracted lots of interest among SMEs,” said Mr Korir.

Mr Cheruiyot, who is the Lead and Head of Strategy, said that by January Biasharabot had attracted enough businesses to commercialise the service.

They now monitor traffic for companies and engage clients interested in the products offered.

Their subscription based service sees buyers pay via mobile phones to their partner firms.

They have integrated a courier service provider onto their platform which ensures that goods are delivered within agreed timelines.

When a Facebook user identifies a product displayed on one of their customer’s website, Biasharabot immediately scrutinises the request and conducts the know-your-customer background check automatically on behalf of the trader. The seller then receives a request for a specific product as well as the inquirer’s phone number.

An invoice is then sent to the phone number, linking the trader and client to a secure platform to strike a deal.

The two, aged 31 years, have also been hired by some SMEs to manage their websites and social media handles.

This has seen them alert traders when queries are asked about products or when a client requests for an order.

“We also schedule regular updates to individual sites, giving them a freshness that attracts readers to the sites,” said Mr Cheruiyot.

Mr Korir, who serves as the Head of Business Development, said that they also take time to customise clients’ websites and social media pages to enable them monitor happenings on their sites.

Among their clients are hotels that sell lunch and special breakfast packages to clients for as low as Sh200 as well as electronics, fresh produce, and tyre sellers.

“Our role is to customise a customer’s page giving them instant updates when a serious buyer requests an invoice for a product and a paybill.

“We also provide broadcast messaging services for our clients are keen on keeping in touch with their customers,” said Mr Korir.

Repeat buyers often pre-pay but first-time prefer cash on delivery.

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