Avatar photo
BY Abu Mubarik, 11:00am November 24, 2022,

How this entrepreneur capitalized on the pandemic to create a thriving e-commerce business

Tarebi Alebiosu. Photo: Linkedin

Meet Tarebi Alebiosu. She is the founder of QShop, a platform that offers businesses a quick and easy way to build e-commerce websites. She created the company in response to demands for e-commerce-as-a-service solutions during the pandemic when most countries across the globe instituted lockdown measures, she told How We Made It In Africa.

Prior to starting her company, she was a top executive at a software company called Yoke Solutions and when the pandemic hit, coupled with restrictions, she saw it as an opportunity to build a solution to suit 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 for assistance from businesses that desperately wanted to take their sales online. However, because it was not the core business model of Yoke Solutions, she referred them to existing options such as Ecwid and Shopify. But the customers found the options given to them to be 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 started with a subscription option but found that companies only subscribed for one or two months and canceled it. Later, the company launched a free model in December 2020, and by the end of February 2021, it had 2,000 clients. Today, the tally is 15,000.

She told How We Made It In Africa that subscribed businesses pay 5,000 naira per month (US$11); 13,000 naira ($29) per quarter or 50,000 naira ($113) per year. An additional fee is charged for every transaction by the payment partner, such as 1.4% with Flutterwave and 1.5% with Paystack.

On the free option model, QShop takes 4% of every transaction but there is no monthly fee. Just 5% of its clients currently use the paid subscription option. The rest are on the free tier. “We make money only if our clients are selling,” she added.

Alebiosu’s company, which was recently selected as a recipient of the Google Black Founders Fund, hopes to expand in Ghana where it has a few customers. It is also eyeing South Africa and Kenya.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: November 24, 2022


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates