You think you have it bad? Agosta Liko had it worse when starting out

December 3, 2018

Listening to Agosta Liko, the founder of Pesapal, a payments company speak about his entrepreneurship journey is like taking a roller coaster! You will laugh, be shocked, be sad, smile and all other feelings known to man.

Today, PesaPal is the leading online Payments company in Kenya, processing about 200,000 payments per day. This is by no means a tiny sum, and a far cry from what Pesapal processed in its first year of existence.

Driven by a belief that there was a gap to be filled in the online payments space in Kenya, Agosta ditched his Travel network business idea to build a payment engine. In 2009 he went to market, offering payment services to ecommerce websites. A year and a half later, Pesapal had only processed a total of 3 transactions. It was so tough breaking through that for his first client, he went as far as building them a whole website, cataloguing their products and marketing their website himself just so he could grow their online payments.

At this time, he was enjoying media coverage through articles in True Love magazine, Drum magazine and Business daily but even these articles never
translated into new clients.

Then things started slowly picking up. He signed on Concours de elegance as a client.

I will never forget this number. We sold 156 tickets in a month, up from only 3 tickets in a year. I thought we were finally about to break though

Agosta Liko

But it wasn’t to be, for the next 3 months, they only processed 2 payments. Around this time, he managed to sign on Zuku as a client, and started processing 33 payments per day. He was finally on the rise.

Do not go into business expecting some meteoric rise. Gradual growth is the way to build a sustainable business in this part of the world.

Agosta Liko

Agosta never gave up and kept going till he found a way to turn things around, proving that difficulty will always be there and may seem to be a permanent situation but as we know, nothing in life is permanent.

Agosta Liko was a guest at founders drink up in October 2018. Get a copy of any of our podcasts by celebrated Entrepreneurs for only Kshs 250. Email

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