Kenya-based International Corporation, iBUILD, with global headquarters in Washington, DC, has launched its mobile- enabled construction platform in Kenya.
The company, which began its first testing in the country in 2017, is now fully launching nationally into the open building and construction market.
Kenya will be the first full market launch and iBUILD hopes that the country will demonstrate strong leadership in how civil society can address the dearth of affordable housing and lack of residential construction activity.
This is achievable through providing an empowering marketplace with the ability for ‘fundis’ (masons) to track their work history, for home owners and contractors to transact transparently and for the entire ecosystem to build with the utmost confidence.
The iBUILD platform provides the ability for home owners to search and find qualified contractors and to manage their home construction and repair projects, their corresponding project budgets, project payments and project timelines all from the tip of their finger. Contractors can find projects, place bids, hire workers manage the project details and make and receive payments. Workers will be able to find jobs (whether smart phone or USSD users), and get paid right through the iBUILD app. The app securely transfers money both in and out of their iBUILD wallet through Mpesa. With payments attached to milestones, customers need not release payment until the agreed upon milestones are reached and contractors will be promptly compensated for completed work.
“The powerful fintech platform will facilitate collaborations between stakeholders in the construction sector, streamline the process to find contractors, hire workers, and manage construction projects,” said Kenya Market Director, Aggrey Wangwe.
The application went live on January 26.
“The iBUILD app will continue to introduce modules and functionality over the next few weeks to help those building, to find and hire construction Professionals, to locate affordable material suppliers and to place orders; we will also be adding lenders to the platform so that homeowners can find competitive loans and microfinance for their projects. These functions will all be integrated with the iBUILD wallet and all transactions for your projects will be tracked and stored,” said the MD.
Those in the construction industry are equally benefitted by the ability to find reliable jobs, post jobs, hire workers for projects and manage payments to their teams, as well as many more features, tracking and managing project activity efficiently and transparently through the application.
“iBUILD provides an internal wallet system for all platform transactions. This wallet is attached to individual Mpesa accounts and sits in the CBA bank, for ease and security of loading and cashing out of the iBUILD wallet. It brings full transparency of all transactions throughout the life of the project across the platform and leaves a permanent record of project payments and completed construction milestones whether a singular event or a home built incrementally, over a long period of time,” said Ronald Omyonga, Chief Relationships Officer.