NIGERIA’S E-COMMERCE TradeDepot RAISES $10M AS FUNDS FOR ITS SUPPLY CHAIN SERVICES FOR THE CONTINENT’S SMBs
E-commerce startup TradeDepot raises $10M in a new round of funding aimed at expanding its business in the area of financial services in addition to credit offering for small businesses. The Nigeria-base startup functions as an articulating point for international brands and small businesses in the continent of Africa.
Based on the startup’s current achievement, it’s been able to build up to a network of 40,000 small businesses in Nigeria and connects them to local distributors of global consumer brands like Nestle, Unilever, GB Foods and Danone according to a source.
The four-year-old startup’s initial business model had previously managed to raise $3 million investment backed by Partech in 2018. However, in the process of investing from its largest African fund, Partech which had initially led its first funding round returned to co-lead the firm’s latest round with the International Finance Corporation, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, and MSA Capital.
TradeDepot raising $10M as its latest is understood to be the startup’s second seed round, and the subject firm’s business is dependent on making a range of household supplies such as soap, milk, and detergents easily accessible and at a subsidized price for the roadside retailers and small shops that provide goods and services to a good number of communities in cities such as Lagos, the company headquarter and core city it renders its services.
‘Onyekachilzukanne’ in a statement made it clear that “Africa’s offline retail market is estimated at $1 trillion, and this new investment allows us to capture an even greater segment of that market. Adding that, “we will continue to use data to drive efficiencies and provide an easier stock acquisition service for our [over] 40,000 retailers, driving down costs for them by negotiating even better deals with our global manufacturers, whilst simultaneously providing a better, faster route to market for our suppliers”.
Consumer brands have a central hub by which it distributes directly to vendors within the continent of Africa coupled with data that will potentially help to manage their relationship with these small vendors. And to access the company’s mobile apps via WhatsApp or Android, USSD short code messaging, or a toll-free phone number, small businesses (retailers) can place orders and have it delivered through the company’s fleet of vans and tricycles. While payments are made via TradeDepot’s app, just as stock order and inventory management.
Meanwhile, the head of Africa Venture Capital investment ‘Wale Ayeni’ at the IFC also made it clear that, “The founders’ vision to build a digital platform that improves the unit economics of serving the mass market is one we feel privileged to support”.
Looking at the pas at which supplies are ordered, TradeDepot also claimed a new store comes online to use its service every three minutes, while orders are received by the company every four seconds, on average. It was also figured out that, women account for over 75% of retailers on the company’s platform and also to note is the disproportionate support that goes to assisting these women entrepreneurs, according to TradeDepot.
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