Creating the World's Largest Network of AI-powered,
Digitally Connected Shops

Revolutionizing Traditional Retail

Billions of emerging market customers shop on a daily basis...

...at ~30-40 million small mom and pop shops... (Swahili: ‘Duka’)

...spending
~$3.5 trillion every year on groceries.

Almost no technology has been developed for this market in decades.

Empowering Shopkeepers

We empower the 30-40 million (mostly female) small business entrepreneurs of the developing world to compete with supermarkets and e-commerce.

Most traditional retailers fundamentally trade cash for goods and if they record any of their transactions, they do so in a simple paper notebook. As such, they lack digital transaction records that might enable them to receive loans or store credit for their business. They are invisible to customers outside of their immediate neighborhood and disconnected from modern retail ecosystems. Although they are crucial sales agents for the world's most valuable brands, they are disconnected and depend on layers of middle men. Until now…

Meet the Team

Eston Kimani
Co-founder

Eston grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and has 10+ years entrepreneurship experience in Africa. He bootstrapped his last company, Africa's Talking Ltd ("Africa's Twilio") to profitability with multi-million USD revenue and expansions across Africa. He holds a BSc in Management Science from MIT.

Catalin Voss
Co-founder

Catalin has been building mobile apps since he was 13. While studying AI at Stanford, he founded and built computer vision start up Sension (sold to a Toyota company). He has led a major AI research project at Stanford and has multiple papers and patents in AI and Computer Vision.

Mia von Koschitzky Kimani
Co-founder

For the past 7 years Mia has been helping FMCGs to grow their business across Africa as a consultant at BCG. She deeply understands the challenges and opportunities in traditional trade for FMCGs and small shops. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Terry Winograd
Chairman of the Board

Terry is a distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Stanford. He is a thought leader in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and User-Centered Design. He is widely respected in Silicon Valley and has been an academic advisor to Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn/PayPal, Marissa Mayer of Yahoo!, and Catalin Voss of DukaConnect.

Jeanne Musembi
Business Development

Jeanne has played an important role in connecting with shopkeepers as well as engaging with manufacturers. She knows how to get to the furthest shops and is looking forward to transforming this industry.

Eli Ongaro
Business Development

Eli is a key field agent. He has been instrumental in signing up shops, researching on products sold in the markets and ensuring that everyone on the team stays fit during our soccer sessions. His most important asset? He never gives up.

James Mwangi
Software Engineer

James' family owned a small shop growing up. This drives him to create products to help shopkeepers all over the world. He is a hugely talented developer.

Frederick Nyawaya
Software Engineer

Frederick is the latest addition to our team. He started off coding on his dad's computer in his early teens and has never stopped since. He's excited about the impact that DukaConnect will have on the people served by the whole retail ecosystem in emerging markets.

Nikolaus West
Computer Vision

Niko is the rare combination of research scientist and hacker that makes our computer vision and machine learning platform run. He has years of experience in shipping real machine learning products at his previous two startups, Volumental and Sension (where he and Catalin worked together), and his studies at Linköping, Stanford, and Cass Business School. He's moving from Sweden to Kenya to be a part of our exciting journey.

DukaConnect was founded out of a commitment to empower the small business owners who together make up the bulk share of trade in emerging markets. Our motivation came from Eston's and Mia's strong connection with emerging trade in Africa and our collective desire to utilize technology to transform the lives of billions of people who continue to lack access to it. We started our prototyping journey in 2016 and have been fine-tuning our neural networks since 2017, building the first fully-mobile AI platform for traditional retail. We're still working to realize our dream of transforming trade in emerging markets to bring out its full potential. Come join us – we're hiring!