Nigerian-based e-commerce startup, TradeDepot has raised a $10m pre-Series B equity round. The funding round was co-led by Partech, International Finance Corporation, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and MSA Capital.
Founded in 2016 by Onyekachi Izukanne, Michael Ukpong and Ruke Awaritefe, TradeDepot is building the digital system for retail distribution in Africa. It has developed an all-round solution that integrates key actors in the trade value chain: manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
Through TradeDepot’s platform, small retailers can have a real-time view of the prices and discounts available from every major brand. The manufacturer also has visibility of its distribution and can leverage that to optimize its deliveries to distributors, improve its pricing and have a direct channel towards small retailers. The startup has built a network of more than 40,000 micro retailers in Nigeria.
The initial business model attracted a $3 million investment led by Partech in 2018 which was aimed to support the expansion of TradeDepot’s footprint in Nigeria and development in other countries.
Partech general partner Cyril Collon describes the platform as a “game-changer in the industry”. “We couldn’t be happier to have TradeDepot as the first investment of our African fund, as it characterises what we want to do in Africa in the coming years: support extraordinary entrepreneurs who leverage tech to solve pan-African problems,” he said.
The new investment round will continue integrating Nigeria’s fragmented informal retail supply chain. According to the company, women account for over 75% of the retailers on its platform. With the help of its new investor We-Fi, TradeDepot will look to offer mentorship opportunities and link these business owners to global markets. It will also expand its demand channel to provide more service options to its retailers and new retail categories such as hotels, restaurants and caterers.