TradeDepot Raises $110m to Support 5 million SME Retailers
By Adedapo Adesanya
TradeDepot, an innovative business-to-business platform in African, has raised $110 million in an equity and debt funding round to support the delivery of Buy-Now-Pay-Later services to 5 million SME retailers.
The company will also leverage the funds to further expand its merchant platform across the continent.
The Series B equity round was led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – a member of the World Bank Group, with participation from Novastar, Sahel Capital, CDC Group, Endeavor Catalyst and existing investors, Partech and MSA Capital. The debt funding was led by Arcadia Funds.
According to the company, Africa’s SME retailers generate $1 trillion in sales annually and contribute $2.6 trillion to the continent’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP), but a fragmented distribution network and lack of access to financing have led to inefficiencies in distribution and many missed opportunities across the value chain.
Banking on its ShopTopUp platform, TradeDepot offers a broad range of consumer goods to SME retailers within its network and provides credit lines to enable these retailers to access inventory and pay in instalments as they sell on to their own customers.
The new funding will expedite the delivery of this service to more retailers, increasing penetration for consumer goods brands and driving prosperity in one of the continent’s most critical sectors.
With active operations in 12 cities across Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, TradeDepot leverages its data, technology and robust logistics operations to connect retailers with suppliers and unlock financing to fund inventory purchases for retailers, enabling increased sales, higher margins and other value-added services for all parties.
Speaking on the new funding, Mr Onyekachi Izukanne, CEO and co-founder of TradeDepot, said: “We remain super focused on making digital commerce and financing both accessible and affordable to neighbourhood retailers across key cities in Africa.
“We are delighted to be joined by an elite group of new investors and have IFC’s Wale Ayeni and Brian Odhambo of Novastar joining our Board of Directors, to support us on this journey to drive growth and prosperity across the continent.”
On his part, Mr Makhtar Diop, IFC’s managing director said, “The informal sector is a large and critical part of Africa’s economy, accounting for around 80 per cent of jobs in the region,” said
“We are excited to work with TradeDepot to leverage technology to help small businesses across the continent, particularly the many retailers led by women, access the resources they need to grow and scale.”