Team creates web platform for financial products comparison
For Mufid Omar, adapting to life in Kenya after coming back from Australia was not a ride in the park. In his first six months back home, he spent time moving from one company to the other inquiring about products as he compared prices.
He had gone to Australia to pursue higher education and graduated with a Bachelors in Management and a Masters in Professional Accounting.
While in Australia, he found it easy to to make a decision on products to buy as he could use websites as a tool to compare prices whenever he wanted to shop.
But here at home, he was frustrated multiple times as the businesses handed him a brochure of products he was not interested in.
“I would visit a local branch to enquire about a particular product and the assistant manager would hand me a full brochure of a different product as they could not answer my specific questions.
They then would proceed to tell me to read the tariff guide on the wall and to call the call centre if I have any future questions,” Mufid narrates.
Such experiences highlighted the opportunity in the market to create a more transparent way to help people better understand unique products. That is when he came up with the Market Compare website.
The platform is a product comparison website that allows users to compare financial products such as loans, credit cards and software business solutions such as payment providers, customer support services, and E-commerce solutions for free.
“Our purpose is to help people make informed decisions on facilities or services generally considered hard to understand with the added benefit of helping them save money as well,” Mufid says.
Experiences such as knowing his options when choosing banks or insurance companies inspired him to come up with the site.
He says the idea of starting Market Compare was not a light bulb moment for him.
In early 2019, while still figuring out which bank would fit his needs, he wished he had the ability to compare all similar products at once and make a conclusive answer as he used to do in Australia.
At that point, he started conducting research, recruited two other co-founders and started working towards a prototype.
“We offer an online aggregator service to financial institutions and software as a service company in Kenya.
We also offer a new digital marketing channel that only insurance companies have been able to access to date.
On our website, we offer users the ability to compare and apply or download products from eight categories, credit cards, prepaid cards, home loans, personal loans, mobile loans, SME loans, business solutions and business bank accounts,” he says.
For the mwananchi
While developing the website, Mufid says his thought was mainly on the ordinary Kenyan citizen.
The website serves as a resource to help them make better financial decisions by viewing the market all at once.
“We focus on the ordinary Kenyan as we have allowed easy access to our website on any device be it mobile or desktop.
You then select the type of product you are shopping around for, select products you want to compare, click compare button and a table will appear allowing you to view a standardised set of information detailing various features about the products.
Once you have made up your decision you click the ‘apply’ button or ‘download’ (app),” he explains.
Mufid points out that the website has been of great help to people as they save money and time when it comes to lending and credit facility products. Additionally, it has encouraged more users to access Kenyan and African tech-based solutions.
The co-founders earn from this platform through affiliate marketing model to generate revenue. These revenue streams include commissions, Pay-per-click, or listing fees depending on the product.
However, their journey has been full of struggles as there is not much support for pre-revenue and early-stage startups.
“Like most startups, our biggest challenge is funding and access to the right networks.
Achieving these sometimes can feel like you are chasing a white elephant. The opportunities to achieve that breakout success takes time and a lot of effort,” Mufid adds.
“To get the financial support, you must meet a certain criterion. But for us, I believe the vision, the energy, the collaboration, and the courage to sacrifice is what has kept us going and achieving our goals,” he adds.
The managing director of Market Compare works alongside three other co-founders specialised in marketing, lead developer and front end developer. Their aspiration for the company is that it evolves beyond just being a product comparison tool.
“Its capabilities are boundless. Our hope as a company is that it will serve Africa as a medium that spreads knowledge, technology and solutions assisting millions” Mufid says in conclusion.