TradeDepot, a Nigerian-based B2B e-commerce startup has raised $10 million (N3.87 billion) in a pre-series B round to expand its business into financial services and credit offerings for retailers.
The funding round was co-led by Partech, International Finance Corporation, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and MSA Capital.
The new round comes two years after the startup’s $3 million Series A funding led by Partech. In addition to launching its suite of financial products and credit facilities to support its retailers, TradeDepot intends to invest the new funds to expand into other African cities.
Speaking on the new funding, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of TradeDepot, Onyekachi Izukanne expressed excitement while welcoming the new investors. He said that the new investment will help the company capture a greater segment of the B2B supply chain market.
“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 digitize 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.”Onyekachi Izukanne, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of TradeDepot
Over 40,000 Retailers
Founded in 2016, TradeDepot connects international brands and small businesses in Africa to local distributors of global consumer brands like Nestlé, Unilever, GB Foods and among others.
The e-commerce startup uses its supply chain model to make household supplies like milk, soap, and detergent more accessible and affordable for the street-side vendors and small shops.
Onyekachi revealed that the company now has more than 40,000 retailers that it services. He added that with raised funds they will be able to better reduce the cost of goods for retailers and provide a faster route to the market for suppliers.
“We will continue to use data to drive efficiency and provide an easier stock acquisition service for our 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.”Onyekachi Izukanne, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of TradeDepot
According to the startup, a new store is activated every three minutes and it receives an average of one retailer order every 4 seconds. The company also claims to have tripled its volume of trade in the last 12 months.
Financial Credit for Retailers
The financial support plan, according to TradeDepot, was designed to help retailers grow their businesses. The startup said it realised that many retailers do not have the collateral or credit ratings that banks demand to get loans.
So it is creating a financial suite where retailers can leverage their trading relationship with TradeDepot to access the funds they need to buy more goods, scale their businesses and generate more revenue.
However, the financial support benefits mostly women entrepreneurs as women account for more than 75% of the retailers on the company’s platform.
The representative of the We-Fi initiative, Hanh Nam Nguyen said that 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. She added that TradeDepot new funds will help to build stronger women-led small and medium enterprises (SME) and retailers.
Apart from its financial suite, TradeDepot also looks to offer mentorship opportunities and global market links to business owners with the help of its new investor We-Fi.
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