Yaw Aning named Malomo, the service he launched for small businesses to turn their order-tracking services into branded customer experiences, as a tribute to his mother, who was a small business owner herself.
“Malomo” means flowers in Swahili and it was the name of Aning’s mother’s small soap-making business which she built over the years — even as she was battling the cancer to which she would eventually succumb.
The small Indianapolis startup has just raised $2.8 million to expand its services providing a new marketing channel for the Shopify retailers of the world who can always use more ways to reach new customers, Aning said.
The financing came from the San Francisco-based firm, Base 10, and New York’s Harlem Capital, along with commitments from previous investors Hyde Park and High Alpha.
Aning came to entrepreneurship as an Orr Fellow, an Indiana program that takes 10 graduates and places them in high-growth companies. While Aning worked in corporate finance, he was always interested in the startup world, and started is first company, Pocket Tales, an online reading game for children.
That business was followed by Sticks and Leaves, a web design agency that gave Aning his first view into the opportunity that order tracking presented as a space for a better customer experience.
Along with co-founder Anthony Smith, Aning built a service that connects with a single click to the Shopify platform and creates custom, branded tracking pages for each brand. “It’s a landing page for a brand. They use it like they would use any marketing asset,” Aning said. “The strategy is to build up integrations to the other tools merchants use to create rich experiences leveraging those tools.”