Flo by Saada, a Kenyan social commerce startup founded by Gerishon Mwaniki, has been acquired by Elloe, a conversational e-commerce startup, for an undisclosed fee. The newly acquired social commerce startup enables SMEs to build conversational commerce solutions and process payments via USSD, voice, WhatsApp Business, and programmable SMS.
“Flo by Saada was built with a mission to help businesses respond to the increasing use of instant messaging as the most preferred mode of communication, both for connecting with family and friends and for receiving immediate, personal, and attentive experiences from brands,” Gerishon said in a press release shared with TechCabal. “We are excited to be joining the Elloe team. Combining our market-leading technologies presents an opportunity to create new, amazing customer experiences.”
Flo by Saada’s client list includes Telkom Kenya, Quick Bus, Oxfam, and other companies in the retail, entertainment, hospitality, and travel industries. Flo by Saada’s team will join Elloe’s product and engineering group based in Kenya as Elloe incorporates the technology to complement its existing portfolio of messaging services with a packaged, AI-driven offering.
Speaking on the acquisition, Elloe’s CEO and founder Owen Sakawa told TechCabal via mail: “Elloe has always prioritised social commerce, and we are excited to expand our capabilities by forming meaningful partnerships with Flo by Saada. By connecting enterprises and consumers on a global scale, we will be able to combine the capabilities of Elloe and Flo by Saada.”
He added that “[Elloe’s] investments in this category are critical to Flo by Saada’s ability to stay at the forefront of providing brands with the most innovative ways to connect with fans and consumers worldwide. Our goal with this collaboration is to become the go-to partner for brands and consumers alike, as well as to establish ourselves as leaders in the rapidly evolving social commerce space, which will only grow in popularity. Our one-of-a-kind platform, a conversational AI infrastructure, enables customers to introduce chatbots successfully and solve problems at scale.”
This acquisition follows a wave of recent significant partnerships, acquisitions, and mergers in the African tech ecosystem.