At this year’s MTN Ayoba MoMo Accelerator program, Ghanaian ecommerce start-up, TUDU Online Shopping was adjudged the Best MoMo Solution in Ayoba for ensuring absolute trust between buyers and sellers on its platform.
TUDU, Co-Foundered by two Telecom Engineers Joseph Ekpaha-Kwofie and Enoch Aboagye Assiamah, was one of 18 finalists selected out of hundreds of entries, and it emerged as one of five award winners at the event. For its prize, the ecommerce marketplace start-up walked away with GHS20,000 cash plus a lifetime partnership with MTN.
Co-Founder and CEO of Tudu, Joseph Ekpaha-Kwofie tells Techgh24 that Tudu’s unique value lies in the fact that the platform is deliberately built to address the problem of trust by providing security to both buyers and sellers.
“The biggest online shopping problem is trust – and that’s why Tudu is built to provide security to both sellers and buyers,” he said.
He explained that when buyers pay for items on Tudu, the company holds the money until the buyer confirms delivery of goods before the money is transferred to the seller.
On the other hand, Tudu takes payment for goods before the seller is notified to process the order and deliver – that is intended to save the seller from delivering to a location where the buyer doesn’t show up.
So, on Tudu, there is nothing like payment on delivery – and there is also nothing like the seller receives the money but never delivers the goods, because if the buyer does not confirm that they have received the goods, Tudu will refund their money to them.
Tudu is more than just a traditional ecommerce platform – it is actually a marketplace platform for retail businesses to sell online without having to create their own websites.
Joseph explained that “we want to give retail businesses the platform to sell online, track inventory, manage orders and accept payments without having to worry about the technicalities involved like setting up a website or managing one.”
The story behind the establishment of Tudu and the choice of name is even more unique. Here is how Joseph Ekpaha-Kwofie put it:
“Back in 2019, I was a Telecom Engineering student in Level 100 and my colleagues and I were required to get some tools for lab practicals. We realized most of the ecommerce platforms did not have those items except for some foreign ones, mostly in China, but the estimated time of delivery was not practical for us, as we need to get them within few days. So, Enoch and I set out to the Accra market and at Tudu, we got these items, bought them in bulk, and distribute to our colleagues back in class. The problem we found was that there was barely a shortage of most of the items we may need to buy, but the businesses to deliver such goods and services were mostly offline. That is how Tudu was born, to help small and medium-scale businesses to sell and receive payment online, without building a website, something that most businesses complained they struggled to do.”
Awards and Recognitions
As a start-up, established only in year 2020, Tudu has processed an appreciable number of transactions amounting to a few thousands of cedis. But it is showing a lot of promise with the quality of wins and recognitions it has gained over the period.
Apart from the MTN Ayoba MoMo Accelerator Award, Tudu also won 2nd Place at Disrupt 270 by Zeepay Ghana, and it was also among the top 7 start-ups shortlisted to pitch at the final MEST Express Accelerated 2022 Alpha.
Tudu currently employers six people and its main retail clients are MacSika Urban Trends, Fuego Bags, On God Clothing, Shopdydy, H & M Supermarket, and HOG Closet. Apart from Accra, users of Tudu can also be found in Kumasi, Takoradi, Ho and Daboase.
Joseph said Telecoms Engineering has taught him and Enoch to be resilient and also sharpened my problem-solving skills, adding, “I also met one lecturer, Dr. Jacob Adopley who taught me how to write efficient programs and that has gone a long way to help us build an app that can serve thousands without any hiccups.”
He said the ultimate vision is to serve more customers/businesses and help drive digital inclusion across Africa with their solution.
Tudu looks forward to reaching at least six African countries by 2030, with over 80,000 merchants in each of the six countries.
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