Founder stories: Ziramba

Founder stories: Ziramba

E-commerce, financing, and fulfillment built for the construction industry.
Dewey Bazirake · 3 minute read

What is Ziramba?

Ziramba is an online marketplace that links the entire home construction and home improvement industry. We offer value to our customers in four ways: e-commerce, logistics & supply chain management, services, and financing.

What is the background?

Ziramba is deeply rooted in the philosophy that Africans are creators, and have a role to play in the production industry around the globe. We believe that by connecting local industries in Africa to various areas in the world, we create an opportunity for local and small entrepreneurs to scale and reach greater markets and heights. 

The story of Ziramba started with two college friends, Claude Irankunda and Dewey Bazirake in Rochester, New York. The dual partook in selling African crafts during African-themed events at universities. Surprisingly a profitable venture, the two tried to scale the business but found significant limitations such as not being able to travel in person to many different colleges and venues due to school commitments. We then decided to build a website to fill this need. 

Question was, did we want to limit it to just African crafts? “What more could we do & and who shall we serve?” - the two probed each other. With their shared passion for construction, real estate, and infrastructural development, the two founders decided to create a marketplace for home construction goods & services primarily for the African market. This was the birth of . Ziramba means durable and long-lasting in the African context. 

What is the purpose?

The goal of Ziramba is to connect the construction and home improvement space in Africa. We aim to create more efficiencies by giving our customers access to more variety of products, diversity in pricing, opportunities to purchase with credit as well as convenience of goods being shipped to the desired destination. 

What does Ziramba offer?

To give more context into the product offerings, the e-commerce platform connects various manufacturers and large-scale suppliers to any buyer/contractor around Africa. With this platform, any manufacturer can upload their products, set their prices, and get access to the entire Africa market as a member base. To support logistics and supply chain management, Ziramba partners with local and international logistics companies to facilitate both local and cross-border movements of goods. 

In regards to services, Ziramba enables contractors such as plumbers, electricians, exterior designers, painters, etc. to sign up and get access to a demand pool of customers requiring a respective service. Around financing, we partner with financial institutions and manufacturers to extend credit to customers on the platform. 

What is the vision?

The growth of the construction industry is projected to grow at 6.4% CAGR between 2019 - 2024, according to the African Union. We believe that Ziramba is well-equipped to serve the entire African market and expand to numerous geographic areas around the world. Ziramba aims to be a platform that bolsters construction, home improvement, and manufacturing in Africa by being the connecting point for all respective stakeholders in the industry. 

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