gamp is a one-stop shop to meet all your gadget needs in Africa. In 2022, they raised a pre-seed of $650,000 from Ingressive Capital, Future Africa, First Circle Capital, Kaleo Ventures, and notable angel investors, including Yemi Oshindero, the Managing Partner of Uhuru Investment Partners. The funding helped the startup to expand its talent, develop the platform and validate new customers.
"There are a lot of devices in Africa, but they are hard to own, repair or replace when they get damaged," Boluwatife Omotayo, Co-founder and CEO of gamp told Bendada.com, this statement seems to be a creed in the gamp team.
In developed countries worldwide, electronic devices come bundled with warranties, insurance, and after-sales support. However, getting the right help for your device can be difficult and expensive in emerging markets like Nigeria. This is because device manufacturers' lack of support programs in Africa makes device ownership and maintenance a luxury.
Consumer electronics is one of the highest-purchased product categories and the refurbished electronics market is estimated to grow at a CAGR 12.1% in 10 years reaching $272.91Bn.
However, device acquisition and post-purchase service are broken in Africa. Repairing or replacing a business device is costly, ranging from 30-100% of its value. In Nigeria, Computer Village in Ikeja serves as the primary hub for device solutions, but it faces offline operations, trust, and transparency challenges, making it difficult for employers and employees to navigate.
Additionally, businesses encounter operational inefficiency by dealing with multiple vendors for device acquisition and maintenance, burdening one person, typically HR or IT, with the entire organizational responsibility.
Businesses face challenges with MacBooks shipped from abroad, as they lack local warranty and support. Repairing them requires expensive overseas shipping, and traditional insurers do not provide coverage for these devices.
Trying to bridge the gap
As an undergrad at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Boluwatife built a funded startup, called Tab Digitals Technology, a marketplace for university students and businesses to fix and trade electronics across multiple campuses.
During that journey, he discovered two things: people can't afford device repairs or replacements, which is where insurance comes in, and products like AppleCare Plus is only available in developed markets, not emerging markets like ours. Refurbished devices aim to lower costs, but getting support for them from the manufacturer is hard. This problem extends beyond university students to small, large-scale businesses and corporate organizations.
Consumer electronics is one of the highest purchased product categories in Africa. “Another major tipping point was in the numbers,” Boluwatife told Bendada.com on a call. “Africa has over 613 million connected devices, 212million are broken and may end up in landfills, posing health & environmental risks due to hazardous materials; and about 400 million Africans do not own a smartphone or laptop
The huge opportunity and previous experience trying to solve this problem was what culminated in starting gamp.
Why the name “gamp”
If you check the dictionary meaning of the word “gamp,” you’ll discover that it's an umbrella, so we asked Boluwatife why the choice of name.
“The initial name we wanted to use was Umbrella because we wanted to create an umbrella company that basically caters for devices end to end. We wanted people to be able to acquire, insure, maintain, trade in, or recycle devices on one platform (end-to-end device lifecycle). I remember calling Ope Olugbemiro, former Partner at FourthCanvas and he pushed back on the name, I quickly googled a synonym for Umbrella and I saw gamp and that was it,” he said.
How does gamp work?
gamp for business is a one-stop platform to meet all your gadget needs in Africa. Acquire devices, Device Protection Plans, trade-ins, repairs, and management for devices on one platform.
gamp partners with OEMs, retailers, finance, and insurance companies to equip, insure, repair, and support consumers. The goal is to make owning and maintaining devices easy in Africa.
The Device Protection Plan covers devices for repair or replacement in anybreakdown or loss. It also covers MDM solutions to track, manage and remotely lock business devices centrally." With the DPP, businesses can cut spending on fixing or replacing broken or stolen devices by up to 90%.
The gamp Lease-To-Own program lets you acquire refurbished or new devices while you spread payments between 1 - 24 months and own the device after the lease period. Refurbished devices are cheaper than new ones and good for the planet. The devices are bundled with device protection plan and support. New devices available on gamp for business include major brands like Apple, which come with local warranties and support. You can also pay upfront.
gamp also offers in and out-of-warranty through its network of OEM-certified partners with a fixed now pay later payment option. “We have a trade-in program,” Boluwatife said. “Where consumers, businesses can exchange their old devices for another one at a reduced price."
The goal of gamp’s interaction with clients (businesses and retail customers) is to ensure that there is #NeverABreak. What does that mean? gamp ensures you have access to the tools you need and get back on with life when it breaks.
It’s FREE to get started on the gamp platform. Like G-Suite products, gamp charges a monthly or annual subscription for the Device Protection Plan; there’s the premium plan, pro plan, and custom plan.
The difference between each of those plans is that they have limits to what they cover. Based on your preference, you’ll find plans that cover MDM solutions, Annual Maintenance, loss, or damage (broken screen, liquid spill, motherboard, hard drive, faulty chargers, cables, etc) so the plans are both preventive and corrective.
The pricing model for gamp’s device Lease-To-Own is similar to a subscription plan. Users can get the devices upfront with equal monthly payments till the end of the lease period, and own the device after.
So for example, if a business wants 100 laptops and each of them costs $1,000 which makes about $100,000, they can get the laptops now and payment will be spread across say 1 - 24 months.
For the repair services, pricing is done on a case-by-case basis. If there’s an issue with a device, the business can make a repair request online, and it will be picked up, fixed, and returned.
The insurtech startup also provides a device trade-in program where you can exchange old devices for another one at a reduced price.
Growth for gamp is to keep improving their CX and platform capabilities to keep serving customers at scale. "Currently, we serve thousands of users/businesses," Boluwatife said, "and we are looking to grow it to over 20x in the next 12 months. At the moment we are live in Nigeria, however, we have expansion plans for francophone, and East Africa,” Boluwatife said."
After founding Tab Digital Technology, Boluwatife spent about two and a half years driving growth and community at African gaming startup Carry1st working across Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya. He is also an Anzisha Prize fellow.
Now at gamp, he is working with Temitope Ige Isang—who is the startup’s co-founder and COO. Temitope is a Harvard alumnus and has about 20 years of experience working in top insurance companies like Old Mutual. gamp’s technical co-Founder is Toluwani Famokunwa, he previously worked with Luno and Mystash.
Aside from the trio, gamp’s team comprises former employees at leading tech companies in Africa, including Jumia, M-Kopa, and Unilever.