Founded in 2020 by Chikodi Ukaiwe, Joshua Biyere and Seye Bandele, the company is simplifying the process of requesting, giving and receiving gifts and cash in Africa, while also helping African businesses promote their services and deals thus earning more revenue.
“It’s a peculiar problem”, says Chikodi, ex-Jumia and Konga VP. “In our personal lives we have experienced difficulty knowing exactly what people want when we want to share gifts with them randomly or on their special occasions. There is no real way to know exactly what a person wants without having to ask them directly, which ruins the whole experience.”
Showlove’s approach to tackling the above is to create a fun community for people to share their wants and needs, either with a closed circle of people or the general public, where they can request and receive the things that they actually value.
Think of it as a social network - that allows you to request, receive and share gifts with your peers and with cutting edge financial services layered over that. In addition, thousands of vendors, SMEs and hypermarkets plugged in via APIs that allow you to put your money to good use.
Using Showlove’s Wishlist feature, for instance, users can compile a list of gifts from anywhere on the internet, and share with their friends and family — either directly or via integration with other social media. People can then either contribute towards the purchase of the gift, or give them the total sum. It is the perfect scenario for asking for the things that you really want, and takes away the headache of choosing the right gift for your intending givers.
Showlove launched its public beta in December, 2020, letting users purchase electronic gift vouchers for their loved ones from various Nigerian businesses. Showlove has now gone live with a full version of their product, which allows people buy gifts, deals, compile and share Wishlists, and send or receive cash, all of which is backed by a digital wallet.
According to Chikodi: “Before now people were paying for gifts using debit cards, USSD and bank transfers. Now we are introducing a wallet that really simplifies that process, you can basically pay for anything or accept payments with your wallet. And if buying gifts isn’t your cup of tea, you can send cash to your friends at zero cost”
A future where people can confidently request and give or exchange value with one another with context and within the same environment is what the company wants to create. “There are quite a number of infrastructure problems in Africa agreed, but we are committed to solving a more emotional problem — we want to create an African continent where relationships are fortified and new connections are fostered through giving and gift exchange, irrespective of distance, currency or cultural differences.” Chikodi said.