SasaLog was founded in 2011 with the aim of making technology accessible, both in terms of usability and cost.
Small and micro-retailers without access to modern low cost business accounting tools were identified as a fertile ground for innovation and we embarked on developing a solution(s) for this market segment. After assessing the problem of counterfeits in medical, food and security product and the sheer volumes of paper used in printing of airtime scratch cards, we knew that there are pressing problems worth solving.
After market research conducted in Nairobi showed that 2/3 of the over 930 small and micro-retailers polled in Nairobi would be interested in the PoS system. Remaining true to the objective of making technology more accessible, SasaLog has designed PoS system (the terminal and its software) and business-to-business co-operation platform. The PoS terminal has internet access that allow businesses to connect with their supply chain forming business-to-business co-operation platform that includes, a patent-pending anti-counterfeit system, manufacturer customer loyalty programme and simplified stock re-orders. The device is also able to perform prepaid mobile airtime refills using NFC or QR-Code based and print prepaid mobile airtime PIN receipts. All this combined provides business model that is truly disruptive, as in Clay Christensen disruption, in that we are able to serve micro-retailers in Africa at a price they can afford.
SasaLog has assembled a team of gifted engineers and has embarked on designing the hardware and software required to make PoS and accounting software to be used by these traders. We have so far completed the design of the hardware and are actively testing prototype boards. We are also in the advanced stages of developing the operating system, and PoS and accounting software.
There is no talk of ICT in Kenya without visiting the profound effect of mobile telephony on the country. From a myriad of SMS and USSD services that include mobile banking by the numerous banks in Kenya, to services, like MPesa, whose success has placed Kenya securely ahead of the pack as far as mobile payments and mobile banking goes. This success can be attributed to the extent of coverage of mobile networks in the country and the reasonably affordable cost of mobile phones even to relatively underprivileged individuals. On top of this technology, there have been several innovations, a great example is Ushahidi that built simply to solve a local problem but has evolved into something that has been of great help to people the world over. One of the things that wide spread Mobile coverage has done to the country is that it has made Internet access affordable and available in many places where it was hitherto not there. This has helped people get connected better via social networks, email and the like. Our intention is to make this possible for businesses as well.
Like in most developing countries and indeed in many developed countries as well, Kenya has many micro-retailers. In fact, there are over 160, 000 of them in the country of whom a very small percentage own any Point-of-Sale terminals. This means that their inventory management and accounting is never automated and denies them any of the benefits borne by access to technology. We can confidently say that with PoS terminals that have Internet access via mobile networks in the micro-retailers’ outlets, a lot of innovative and beneficial solutions can be developed for them. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that most of these micro-retailers can neither afford PoS terminals at their current prices, this problem is easily solved by generating revenue from other sources that are relevant for the market. For instance, about 70% of pre-paid mobile airtime in Kenya is loaded by use of Scratch Cards which bare lower margins for the retailers than PIN Receipts would. Given that Mobile operators pay a commission to their airtime distributors for airtime sales, this gives a potential revenue source. Furthermore, there are further opportunities in collection of payments and in the fact that in there is an ongoing rollout of prepaid electricity by the Kenya Power, which is Kenya’s main electricity distribution and supply company. All these would provide additional revenue to retailers. There are even greater opportunities for hardware companies in Africa as the countries switch from analogue to digital TV transmission over the next few years.
He is the founder of SasaLog. He is responsible for making sure that the team gets reference designs, liaising with key suppliers and sourcing for components that the rest of the team has a problem getting along with being the in-house-visionary. Patrick has nine years’ of experience in software development and has written some of the software used in the system. Patrick taught himself how to code immediately after high school, using pen and paper and without having access to a computer. In 2004, he wrote his first AJAX application and in 2005 he created a PHP CMS that uses AJAX that is still presently used on many websites in Kenya. He went on to make an Erlang mailing system and SMSC, numerous PHP web applications, VB.NET and C# .NET applications using MySQL, MSSQL and PostgreSQL for clients all over the world, including the US, Switzerland and Denmark. He dropped out of JKUAT in 2006 where he was pursuing a Telecommunication Engineering degree to do software development before founding SasaLog. A widely read individual, he developed the business model for SasaLog, along with help from several consultants.
Is our senior electronic(s) engineer and Co-Founder. He graduated with a (BSC) Mechatronics Engineering degree the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture And Technology ( JKUAT) in 2011. He is the head of R&D and is the driving force behind the circuit and PCB design. Salim has experience in software development and electronic circuit design. Mostly self-taught, he has been able to take us through the circuit design process and PCB layout design without any prior experience. He has problem solved some of the most complicated things that we have handled including routing for the DDR 3 modules. Before joining SasaLog, he gained experience doing several electronic circuit design projects and was employed as a software developer for Eranji Investments Ltd. Salim is a very dedicated and committed individual.
Co-founder, junior electronic engineer joined us as an intern that we later took on full-time. He graduated in 2012 with an honors degree in BSC Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2012. He was very active at the Nairobi Fab Lab where he teaches micro-controller classes on weekends. Kimali also took part in several challenges during is collage years in which his team won, including the NASA space apps challenge in 2012 where their Bit Harvester won the People's choice award, in 2010 at the Africa Maker Fair, his team’s Automated Winch System won the Best Water engineering project award. He also participated in the Huawei Android app Challenge with a project, "Zacchaeus the tax partner". He is a well-rounded individual that is also fluent in French and can converse in German. He has shown dedication to our mission and has proven himself over and over again.
1. 1.2 Ghz processor. (There also exists an experimental 1.2Ghz dual core that would feature at the same price)
2. 1 GB RAM
3. 4.3” display with a capacitive touch screen
4. Battery with a 16Hr+ battery life
5. Loaded with Linux KDE Plasma Active or Android
6. Internet access via GPRS
7. Built-in thermal receipt printer 8. Built-in NFC reader-writer functionality
9. Built-in barcode scanner
The PoS terminal will come fully loaded with PoS, inventory management and basic accounting software. This would automate the accounting process for the micro-retailers. Our software is designed to work with the form factor of our POS Terminal, this means that we have tested it rigorously at the resolution of our 4” display and looked into way of making good use of the touch screen.