Sokowatch raises $14M to digitize Africa’s informal B2B supply-chain

Mitrobe Network

Sokowatch, the Kenyan business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce startup that permits informal retailers to order products and receive free same-day delivery to their store, has raised $14 million serial A funding.
Founded in 2013, Sokowatch developed business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce supply chains for retailers in Africa’s informal markets to attach with large FMCG suppliers like Unilever, and within the process, digitize their orders, payments and delivery-logistics.
Informal retailers can order their goods from Sokowatch’s online platform by SMS, phone or mobile application and therefore the goods get delivered to the retailers by its fleet of vehicles, mostly three-wheeled tuk-tuks.

Sokowatch Closes $2 Million Seed Round To Modernize African Informal Retail
Sokowatch Closes $2 Million Seed Round To Modernize African Informal Retail

“We handle all of our last-mile logistics exclusively ourselves,” CEO, Daniel Yu said.
By aggregating orders for independent retailers and negotiating better prices from suppliers, Sokowatch generates revenues by taking a percentage off the savings it makes for its clients. Then , it collects client data and uses it to supply credit and other financial services.
This funding comes almost two years after the Nairobi-based startup closed a $2 million seed investment led by 4DX Ventures and a further $2.5 million in February 2019.
This time, however, Quona Capital led the series A round, with 4DX Ventures participating. Vertex Ventures, Timon Capital, Breyer Capital, and Amplo also participated.
Having expanded within Kenya, and out of doors to Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, Yu says Sokowatch now serves over 15,000 small retailers across these countries and plans to broaden its client services with this series A funding.
“We’re looking to create out the most important B2B e-commerce network across Africa,” Yu said.
Although the startup has plans to focus on new African markets, Sokowatch didn’t name the countries it’s set its sights on, however, Wu said that the startup could begin to supply third-party logistics or sell online on to African consumers.

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