A JOURNEY OF RELENTLESS AMBITION: Top 40 Under 40 Men 2022
Africa is a beautiful continent that has amazing possibilities for the future! While that’s the case, it lacks many opportunities and chances for young people to express their genius. That is where Tesh and Mesongo’s story is exceptional. MarketForce co-founders ranked among the top 40 under 40 men in an annual publication by Business Daily Africa. This is a testament to their relentless ambition and a proof point of what is possible when you follow the road into the unknown but never venture off the road.
MarketForce is arguably the fastest-growing retail and fintech startup in Africa with over 500 employees, servicing more than 200,000 retailers across 5 African countries. This story started at a campus event where Mbaabu and Sibuti met as undergraduate computer science students at the University of Nairobi in 2011. Both were serial entrepreneurs from a young age; Mbaabu started a graphic and print design agency in college, whileSibuti ran an information technology shop (cyber cafe) of his own. Mbaabu described Sibuti as “the smartest person in the class” and set out to recruit him as a business partner. That task proved to be easier than anticipated. Mbaabu reflected: “I think Sibuti was wondering, ‘Who is this crazy guy that misses class all the time to work on his own projects?’” They committed to building a company together, and have since founded three startups together.
After graduating from the University of Nairobi, Tesh and Mesongo built their first startup in 2015. It was a platform aimed at digitizing and creating transparency in procurement processes, that failed spectacularly. In 2016, they started their second company, Cloud9xp. The platform, aimed at enhancing local excursions and experiences during a trip, was acquired by Hotel Online in 2020. In 2018, they started their third venture together, MarketForce, which this year raised $40m, the largest series A round in East and Central Africa.
In a Top 40 Under 40 list of men compiled by Business Daily Africa, a leading financial newspaper on the continent, Tesh and Mesongo are ranked number 14 and 15 respectively. The ranking is based on a number of factors, including:
– Number of followers on social media
– Contributions to society through philanthropy, activism, or entrepreneurship
– Contributions to their respective industries through innovation or creative thinking
Marketforce is happy to count among its team, these two Business Daily Africa legends. Men whose hard work and innovation is the wind behind the sails pushing Africa’s economic rising. Congratulations to all the other 2022 honourees, and thanks to the entire Business Daily Africa team for this honor. We are confident that our young founders will continue pushing us to greater heights.