African superapp in making

Bootstrapped, Profitable & Scaling: The ‘Little’ Big Dream That Took Off In Kenya

By  |  May 12, 2022

In a time when the African tech ecosystem is flooded with venture capital money, there's a bootstrapped Kenya-based startup that has, against the odds, managed to match and even outpace some VC-funded businesses. And it continues to find a way, often against the run of play.

Little App, which was built as a side project by the founder of East Africa's renowned IT company CraftSilicon, is today valued at around USD 100 M (based on revenues as mentioned by the team). With confidence and a smile, Kamal Budhabhatti (founder of Little App) says that Little App has the potential to become a billion-dollar company.

The Beginning

As the backend service provider to many financial institutions, microfinancing companies and banks at Craft Silicon, Kamal noticed that there were many business opportunities waiting to be explored by local entrepreneurs, but nothing much moved. His work allowed him to deal with just one part of the problem for the customers. Kamal was sitting on piles of insights but could not own that information. His initial idea was to solve the lack of more options in payments and transfers, but he could not pursue the idea as it clashed with his clients' interests.

From a heap of similar data at the backend and market gap analysis, Kamal laid the foundation of Little Cab. The ride-hailing company entered a seemingly crowded market with Uber and Bolt throwing discounts at people to onboard them. Apart from the cabs, boda-boda (bike-hailing) operators like Safeboda too were in the competition to make mobility more affordable to the masses by giving heavy discounts to end riders.

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