Lagos-based direct-to-store sales and delivery startup, TradeDepot has reportedly received $3 million in funding from Partech, a Venture Capital firm specialising in information and communication technologies, and operating in Europe, Paris, Berlin, as well as San Francisco in the US.
The TradeDepot investment comes after Partech in January announced the launch of Partech Africa, a targeted fund size of €100 million that is dedicated to "digital champions with Pan-African ambitions".
According to the announcement that was made, via a press release yesterday, the investment in TradeDepot is the global investment firm’s first commitment from its €100 million Africa fund launched earlier this year.
Partech believes the funding will support the expansion of TradeDepot’s footprint in Nigeria and development in other countries.
On the other hand, this is TradeDepot's first external round. As such, co-founder and CEO, Onyekachi Izukanne see it is as “critical” to the development of their company.
“We have proven that there is a strong demand for such a distribution platform among consumer goods companies and retailers in emerging markets, and we now wish to use these funds to support our growth strategy,” he remarks.
Existing tech platforms, according to him, have not effectively addressed the distribution of consumer goods in emerging countries which often have millions of small and informal retailers.
"In Nigeria alone, this $340-billion market loses more than $4-billion every year due to a lack of visibility and the resulting waste in logistics, making retailers in African countries subject to some of the highest product distribution costs in the world.
“Our goal is to enable every convenience store in Africa to consistently receive their supplies at the best possible prices,” he said.
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Since 2015, when the startup was founded, TradeDepot has been helping retailers in the fast-moving consumer goods sector to distribute goods in Africa; hence what it calls a “360-degree solution”, which allows it integrate all participants (manufacturers, distributors and retailers) in the trade value chain. The solution is said to have been deployed across Nigeria in distributors’ warehouses.
The startup currently works with six consumer packaged-goods companies in Nigeria including Promasidor, Coca Cola and Population Sciences International. The company has also signed up several distributors, including the country’s leading logistics provider, MDS Logistics which will have its 50 depots across the country integrated onto the platform.