One year after announcing the close of its $40 million Series A, MarketForce has announced that it is raising $1 million via WeFunder.
"When we started this journey, we committed to building an exceptional African company that empowers African people, communities, and economies, and this community round is one way to concretise that ideal.
"We’re doing this because we believe that a company like MarketForce provides the opportunity to generate financial upside, not only for the merchants and partners that we serve, but also for people who understand and believe that what we are building is important for the continent," part of the announcement reads.
The startup is accepting investments from as little as $1,000 at the same terms used for its Series A round. However, it says not all investors will receive their desired investment amount.
Founded in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti, MarketForce is a B2B marketplace that provides distribution and financial services to merchants. Beginning with Kenya, the startup has since expanded into nearby countries, including Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. It also has operations in Nigeria.
The Y Combinator-backed startup serves more than 200,000 merchants in these five countries and has seen revenue grow from $140,000 in 2021 to $2.5 million in 2022, per its Capitalize listing. It also plans to extend its services to four more countries.
When MarketForce raised its Series A in 2022, it hoped to drive the number of merchants on its merchant super app, RejaReja, to a million by the end of 2022. However, those plans were affected after certain investors failed to send part of the equity investment promised to the startup.
In response, it laid off 250 employees and restructured its business to optimise profitability. In an interview with TechCrunch in May 2023, Mbaabu, the startup's CEO, revealed that it had reduced the number of routes it covered from 700 to 400 to drive more efficiency, adding that the company was on track to record its highest revenues ever.