TradeDepot, a B2B eCommerce platform for consumer goods in Africa, on Tuesday sait it had secured additional $10 million to transform the informal retail supply chain in Nigeria.
The company made the remark in a statement sent by its consulting firm, Wimbart, a Public Relations Firm, to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
It explained that the additional $10 million was raised during a pre-Series B equity round, co-led by Partech, International Finance Corporation, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and MSA Capital.
It said that TradeDepot would use the new investment to continue its integration of the fragmented informal retail supply chain in Nigeria.
It said it would also expand into other African cities and launch a suite of financial products and credit facilities to support its retailers.
According to the statement, since its launch in 2016, TradeDepot has built a network of more than 40,000 micro retailers in Nigeria, working with global distributors and manufacturers including Nestlé, Unilever, GB Foods and Danone.
It said that through its services, household supplies, such as milk, soap, detergent and other essentials became more accessible and affordable for the informal urban retail networks it operated in.
According to the statement, retailers order and pay for goods using TradeDepot mobile apps, USSD or a toll-free number to have them deliver directly to their stores via the company’s fleet of vans and tricycles.
It said that retailers could also order stock and manage their inventory online, with a number of ways to pay, including digital payments and cash.
The company said that by working with them, retailers across Nigeria had increased their revenue and improved their business outcomes as a result of better access to products for their stores.
It said that as a result of using data and analytics to inform better retail decision making at each stage of the supply chain, it had recorded considerable growth since its launch.
TradeDepot noted that it had also tripled its volume of trade in the last 12 months.
Commenting, Onyekachi Izukanne, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of TradeDepot, said: “We are excited to strengthen our team and welcome on board incredible strategic investors and partners, as we double down on our mission to digitise and simplify retail distribution for the continent.
“Africa’s offline retail market is estimated at one trillion dollars 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 40,000 plus retailers, driving down costs for them by negotiating even better deals with our global manufacturing partners.
“In a bid to help retailers grow their businesses, TradeDepot is set to launch a suite of financial products and credit facilities.
” Many retailers do not have the collateral that banks demand but, by leveraging their trading relationship with TradeDepot, retailers can access the funds they need to buy more goods, scale their businesses and generate more revenue,” he said.
Wale Ayeni, Head of Africa Venture Capital Investment at IFC, in his comment described TradeDepot as a rising star in the African internet landscape.
He added that it had helped digitise a substantial underserved informal retail segment which was the pillar of economic growth in Africa.
Also, Hanh Nam Nguyen, Programme Manager, commenting on behalf of IFC as implementing partner of We-Fi, said: “Women play a pivotal role in driving economies across Africa.
The programme manager added that lack of access to capital, limited market linkages, cultural norms and other challenges often presented them from achieving the success they wanted.
According to Nguyen, We-Fi financing would incentivize TradeDepot to build stronger women-led small and medium enterprises (SME), retailer and distributor networks, which would support them to become drivers of economic growth in their communities.
Edited By: JaneFrances Oraka/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
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