Francophone Africa-focused startup Maad secures $3.2 million to improve region’s retail market

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May 14, 2024
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2 min read
Maad team

The news: 

  • Maad, a technology and logistics platform for informal retailers in Francophone Africa, has closed its $3.2 million seed funding round. 
  • Venture Platform led the round, which included debt and equity financing from Seedstars International Ventures, Reflect Ventures, OuiCapital, Launch Africa, Voltron Capital, Alumni Ventures, Proparco, and a few local banks. 
  • Maad, which directly connects suppliers and small retailers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), intends to use the new capital injection to dominate the Senegalese market, where it already operates. 

Also, part of the funding will go towards introducing financial services like Buy Now, Pay Later via a digital wallet and expanding to a second French-speaking African country. 

The company claims that its tech-powered solution enables retailers to order products from a one-stop shop, coupled with reliable delivery, competitive pricing, and working capital loans. 

Furthermore, Maad leverages its extensive distribution infrastructure to offer data and software services. The company also offer advertising and distribution services to brands. 

In Francophone Africa, most of the consumption still occurs in informal mom-and-pop shops. Maad says its mission is to improve this retail segment of the market. 

According to Sidy Niang, Co-founder and CEO of Maad, the startup has the first-mover advantage in sub-Saharan Francophone Africa. 

“We often say this is a blue ocean. As the fastest-growing player in the region, we are well-positioned to maintain our leadership and continue driving transformation in this underserved market." Niang added. 

Maad currently operates in Senegal, where it claims to have ongoing partnerships with over 80 suppliers and a catalogue of over 1,000 household brand stock-keeping units (SKUs).

In addition, the company says it records a monthly gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $3 million while operating near breakeven. 

Niang and Jessica Long (COO) co-founded Maad in 2020 to digitise Francophone Africa's retail markets. 

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Long explains that small retailers are not only important to local neighbourhood life, but they are also critical to Senegal's economic development. 

“Maad builds scalable digital technology and core logistics infrastructure so that these retailers can make everyday-need products consistently available to people who make less than $5 a day," Long added.


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