Kapu, a Kenya-based social commerce startup, has emerged from stealth with $8 million in seed funding to enable Kenyans to buy food seamlessly as food prices rise across the country.

Founded by Sam Chappatte, a former executive vice president of Jumia Group, Kapu has been building a business-to-customer e-commerce service that allows consumers to buy food at a subsidised rate through online and offline channels.

Kapu works by sourcing products directly from manufacturers and producers and enables group bulk-buying of groceries. The startup claims to help consumers save up to 30% of their spending on fresh produce and packaged consumer goods.

“The reason we started Kapu is that we think that there is a more relevant model of e-commerce that can be built to target the grocery basket, which is the biggest portion of spend for the vast majority of consumers," said CEO, Sam Chappette, an ex-Jumia executive who played a considerable role as the eCommerce platform expanded in Kenya.

Kapu, which claims it has 1,500 agent collection centres across Nairobi, would use the new funding to expand its network of local agents. It will also work on supporting WhatsApp orders to make the process easier for consumers.

The seed round was co-led by Giant Ventures and Firstminute Capital, with participation from Founder Collective, Base Capital, Norrsken (Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth’s fund) and Raven One.