Tarebi Alebiosu is a model. She is the founder of QShop, a platform that allows businesses to create e-commerce websites quickly and easily. She founded the company in response to a demand for e-commerce-as-a-service solutions during the pandemic, when most countries around the world imposed lockdowns, she explained to How We Made It In Africa.
Prior to founding her company, she was a top executive at Yoke Solutions, and when the pandemic hit, she saw it as an opportunity to build a solution to meet the unique e-commerce needs of Nigerian and African business owners.
“I was the managing director for a successful software development company, Yoke Solutions, and was in the process of looking for funders for an events tech company we had started a few years prior, called Sugar.ng. However, when the pandemic hit, it was clear the uncertainty around events and what faced us in the future would halt those plans,” she said.
Alebiosu recalled receiving calls from businesses that were desperate to move their sales online. However, because it was not Yoke Solutions’ core business model, she referred them to existing options such as Ecwid and Shopify. Customers, on the other hand, found the options presented to them to be prohibitively expensive.
“At the end of June 2020, we started working on our minimum viable product and by the end of August, we released it to the market,” she said. According to Alebiosu, within the first month, 87 businesses had signed up.
QShop began with a subscription option, but discovered that companies only subscribed for one or two months before canceling. Later, in December 2020, the company launched a free model, and by the end of February 2021, it had 2,000 clients. The current total is 15,000
Subscribed businesses pay 5,000 naira ($11) per month, 13,000 naira ($29) per quarter, and 50,000 naira ($113) per year, she told How We Made It In Africa. The payment partner charges an additional fee for each transaction, such as 1.4% with Flutterwave and 1.5% with Paystack.
QShop takes 4% of every transaction in the free option model, but there is no monthly fee. Currently, only 5% of its clients use the paid subscription option. The rest are available for free. “We only make money if our clients sell,” she added.
Alebiosu’s company, which was recently selected as a Google Black Founders Fund recipient, hopes to expand in Ghana, where it already has a few customers. It is also interested in South Africa and Kenya.