Today we meet the team behind Retail Tower. Co-Founders: From L – R, Rinkart Osei-Asibey, Samuel Tuffour, Isaac Nii Noi Nortey and Blaise Bayuo. They are a Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) incubated startup with global ambitions. We had a chance to connect with Blaise, the CEO, to find out more
Great to connect. Please tell us about RetailTower:
“RetailTower (www.retailtower.com), is a software startup that specializes in creating ecommerce marketing software that helps small- and medium-sized online merchants promote their products and drive traffic customers through leading comparison shopping engines.”
“We want to build the leading go-to platform for web-based channel marketing solution for small-to-medium online retailers. Our mission is to help online-merchants become competitive and increase sales through shopping comparison sites and online marketplaces.”
Why is it interesting?
“It all began in an online forum when an online seller asked how he could convert one file format into another format (.e.g .txt to .csv). Later Rinkart (Now CTO of RetailTower) realized there’s an unmet need for merchants to format their inventory as one of the key requirements to list their wares on comparison shopping engines.
Online merchants face a complex sales environment. Simply because shoppers are using online marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and social recommendation sites to find products and compare prices. However this is not an easy task. Keeping an eye on the several shopping engines is an uphill task especially for small-scale merchants. Listing products on the numerous Shopping Comparison Engines (CSEs) require tremendous amount of time and effort in order to be successful.”
What kind of traction have you achieved so far?
“We have signed more than 2500 online merchants worldwide; our growth rate is 20% month-on-month.”
Here are some screenshots that give an early look at the service:
You have some important partnerships in place. Can you highlight these and the implications for the business?
“We have integrated our software to three leading ecommerce platforms (Shopify, Magento & osCommerce). We also support about fifteen leading comparison shopping engines. We are a solution provider for Amazon product Ads, Become.com and Sortprice.com. These partnerships will strengthen our position in the ecosystem.”
What is the major challenge for you moving forward?
“To create a trusted brand from Africa that can compete globally.”
How has MEST played a role in your development?
“The MEST program has been the pivot for our company. All co-founders are graduates of the program (class of 2010). The MEST foundation, apart from the early funding, also provides mentors for companies in the incubator.”
Any early announcements, previews or developments you would like to share?
“We are currently developing integration for two additional ecommerce platforms (prestashop and Bigcommerce. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been developing a major redesign and new features for RetailTower. Merchants who sign will see a cleaner and intuitive user-interface. We’ve taken into consideration the numerous suggestions and feedback from our cherished merchants.”
Do you have a message for possible business partners and investors?
“The RetailTower team is open to working with partners in the industry in a mutually beneficial relationship. We see a bright future with RetailTower and we welcome any company or investor who is willing to join as an advisor, financier or partner in our growth.”
How can members contact you?
See the venture profile for Retail Tower to find out more. We look forward to following the progress of Blaise and his team. Certainly, they are an early example of the kinds of globally relevant solutions we see emerging from Accra. And to see other ventures incubated by MEST see their page on VC4Africa.