By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigerian e-commerce startup, TradeDepot, has raised a $10 million to expand its operations to financial services and credit offerings for retailers.
The company is a company which connects international brands to small businesses in Africa and has worked with brands like Nestlé, Unilever, GB Foods and Danone.
This pre-Series B round was led by Partech Africa, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and MSA Capital.
This comes two years after the startup raised $3 million Series A also led by Partech Africa in April 2018.
Founded in 2016, TradeDepot is digitising retail distribution in Africa by developing an all-round solution that integrates manufactures, distributors, and retailers on one platform.
The startup has built a network of more than 40,000 micro retailers in Nigeria.
Similarly, it makes household supplies and essentials affordable for informal retailers by working with multinationals.
Through TradeDepot’s platform, retailers can have a real-time view of all prices and discounts available from every major brand.
Also, manufacturers are granted full visibility over their distribution and in the process, optimise deliveries to these distributors, improve their pricing and have a direct channel towards their end-retailers.
In a statement, the startup claims that it had increased revenue and improved businesses of many Nigerian retailers.
Speaking on this, co-founder of Trade Depot, Mr Onyekachi Izukanne, said “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 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.”
The company said that a new store comes online to use its services every three minutes and that the company receives an order from retailers every four seconds, on average.
Now, with the new capital, TradeDepot will expand into a suite of financial services and lending products for its retailers.
Many of the company’s customers lack a credit rating, but TradeDepot has alternative ways to score credit based on the data it has from its existing trading relationships.
A large part of the company’s operation is in Lagos but also has a footprint in Abuja. The plan was to expand its footprint across these cities and also cover three additional cities, including one in Ghana.
With this new investment, it stated that it will continue in that same line of integrating Nigeria’s informal retail supply chain, adding that it will expand its demand channel to provide more service options to its retailers and new retail categories such as hotels, restaurants and caterers.
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