Building the Start by Kippa Product

The idea behind Start by Kippa

Start by Kippa launched a couple of months ago, we introduced the product to enforce our tagline of business with ease for small businesses in Nigeria. To put it simply, the mission was to overhaul the lengthy process for business registration. In Nigeria today, small businesses are the backbone of the economy, accounting for about 48% of the national GDP. For a lot of these businesses, their biggest problems are accounting, access to capital and establishing credibility in a country where the lack of data allows for the presence of fraud. So far, we have been able to solve the problem of accounting for over 300,000 small businesses in Nigeria using our first product, a simple bookkeeping solution that allows small businesses not only to record transactions but get paid as well. Our detailed reports and financial records also make it easier for small businesses to get credit but there was a big problem, most established lending institutions require that businesses be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission to access any credit. We decided to create a product that solves this problem and that’s how we launched START.

In this article, we will walk you through how we built start by Kippa  and how it is only the tip of the iceberg on our mission to help Africans build and scale small businesses easily

What is the problem we aim to solve?

Today, the Corporate Affairs Commission allows small businesses to register on the web. The big issue here is the process is hardly optimized for the realities of Nigerian SMBs in terms of ease. The result of this is a new business model where small business owners pay third party agents and lawyers to process their business registration. Knowledge will always be valuable and this is a high revenue-generating business, the only problem is the inconsistent profit margin and lack of structure within this segment. Business owners pay as much as 50,000 NGN which is over 100% of the actual price and for most, this is a luxury. Unlucky business owners pay this much and never receive their certificates. So, back to square one where SMBs can’t register their business and by association are unable to get bank accounts for their businesses.

What is Start by Kippa?

A product that helps small businesses with easy and quick incorporation. The long-term goal is for Kippa to become the de-facto platform for business registration in Nigeria. The value for Nigerian Merchants is a structured and affordable process of business registration in Nigeria while giving us another channel to lock merchants into the Kippa ecosystem in the long run.

What are we offering?

  1. Price: cheapest price on the market of 15,000 NGN
  2. Speed: premium processing by default of 7 days
  3. Free Business Management App to run their business
  4. VIP access to a network of 300K+ merchants

The Technology

The process is very smooth and easy to understand; it is not as complex as the normal business registration process where a lawyer's input is sometimes required.

The Kippa Start platform onboards users at scale into a workflow processing system powered by a combination of APIs, data applications and human agents with the end result of processing their business registration information and dispatching Business Name Certificates to the users via email.

The platform has three main phases in terms of workflow:

(1) User payment validation and data form presentation

(2) Agent dispatch and processing

(3) Last-mile delivery of the Business Name Certificate to the user.

User payment validation and data form presentation

Once a user makes a payment on the website, they are redirected to a data form where they provide the required business registration information. Sometimes, depending on network factors, the users may not be automatically redirected and in those situations, there is an automated system that detects payment and sends an email with a secure link to another form for data collection. Considering the network fluctuations a lot of Nigerians face, it was important that we built a system around that use case.

Agent dispatch and processing

We have a fully automated batching and dispatching workflow that packages and distributes work items to our agents daily. Once an agent receives a batch they process each application in the batch. The processing has several stages and takes between 3 - 7 business days depending on the nature of the data provided by the applicant as well as the uptime of the CAC portal, which fluctuates from time to time. However, based on our users’ feedback, this is the shortest timeframe for processing registration in the country right now.

Delivery of the Business Name Certificate to the user

After the processing with the CAC portal is complete, the Business Name Certificate is electronically dispatched to the user via email.

Wrapping up

Today, Start by Kippa is a part of the existing Kippa product while the website https://start.kippa.africa/ exists for users who are experiencing the product for the first time. The scale of adoption over the past 2 months has definitely required more hands-on this product and a more streamlined process. However, we are working very hard to maintain the speed and efficiency with which this product was built. Some problems within this process are the lack of proper education on the documents and processes of business registration in Nigeria. We are heavily focused on using content marketing to solve this.

If you’d like to help Nigerian Business owners scale even faster, a first step would be to give a few slots but if you aren’t able to do that, just sharing this is fine.

Onyinyechi Nneji

Onyinyechi Nneji