Stories by Emma Okonji
TradeDepot, a B2B e-Commerce platform for consumer goods in Africa, has raised a further $10 million in a pre-Series B equity round co-led by Partech, International Finance Corporation, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and MSA Capital.
This was in addition to the $3 million that it raised in 2018.
The firm disclosed that it would use the new investment to continue its integration of the fragmented informal retail supply chain in Nigeria, expand into other African cities and launch a suite of financial products and credit facilities, to support its retailers.
The company has also tripled its volume of trade in the last 12 months.
Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of TradeDepot, Onyekachi Izukanne, said: “We are excited to strengthen our team and welcome on board some incredible strategic investors and partners, as we double down on our mission to digitalise and simplify retail distribution for the continent. 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.
“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 manufacturing partners, whilst simultaneously providing a better, faster route to market for our suppliers.”
Head of Africa Venture Capital Investment at IFC, Wale Ayeni, said: “TradeDepot is a rising star in the African internet landscape, helping digitize a substantial underserved informal retail segment, which is the pillar of economic growth in Africa. The founders’ vision to build a digital platform that improves the unit economics of serving the mass-market is one that we feel privileged to support.”
Program Manager and Implementing Partner of We-Fi, Hanh Nam Nguyen, said, “Women play a pivotal role in driving economies across Africa, but lack of access to capital, limited market linkages, cultural norms and other challenges often prevent them from achieving the success they want. We-Fi financing will incentivize TradeDepot to build stronger women-led small and medium enterprises (SME) retailer and distributor networks, which will support them to become drivers of economic growth in their communities.”
General Partner at Partech, Tidjane Dème, said: “We are proud to continue our partnership with TradeDepot as they continue their work to transform the huge informal markets that are present in Africa. The founders have a wealth of experience that puts them in a great position to execute on their vision, and their approach and results to-date are why we are so excited by the extraordinary entrepreneurs harnessing the power of technology to address issues across the continent.”