- Copia Global has announced that it has raised a $20 million Series C extension round a day after disclosing its partnership with Visa, a payments giant.
- Several investors, including Enza Capital — co-founded by John Lazar, the former CEO of Metaswitch, a Microsoft subsidiary — LGT, Goodwell Investments, the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), DEG, Elea, Perivoli Foundation, and Sorenson Foundation, participated in the round.
- Lazar has joined the Kenyan eCommerce and fintech company board.
Lazar joined Metaswitch Networks in 1987 as a software engineer before becoming chairman and CEO when the company established its leadership in cloud communications software. He stepped down from both roles in 2016, four years before Microsoft acquired the company.
Launched in 2013 by Tracey Turner and Jonathan Lewis, Copial Global caters to African consumers with moderate to low incomes, especially those living in rural areas. The company has grown, employing over 50,000 digitally savvy agents throughout Kenya.
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The platform enables middle-class and low-income consumers, including those without Internet access, to purchase goods through digitally enabled agents, USSD shortcodes, and print product catalogues that are updated regularly.
In January 2022, Copia Global obtained a $50 million Series C funding round to expand its model throughout East Africa, primarily focusing on Kenya, Uganda, and eventually Rwanda and Tanzania.
However, in April 2023, citing “economic downturn and constraint market”, the B2C eCommerce platform suspended its operations in Uganda to focus on growing Kenya’s operations. This decision rendered over 350 employees jobless.
In November 2023, the startup stated plans to boost sales by launching a campaign via its mobile app to take advantage of Kenyans' increasing smartphone usage. According to reports, as of January 2023, the country had about 63.9 million registered mobile connections.
On December 12, 2023, the eCommerce platform announced a 5-year strategic partnership with Visa to offer middle-class and lower-class consumers access to several innovative solutions in Kenya. The partnership will enhance financial inclusion and enable users to manage their finances.