As part of its expansion plans, Nigerian SaaS web platform TradeDepot recently raised $3 million in funding from Partech Ventures.

Earlier this year, Partech Ventures launched Partech Africa, an African Fund that will cater for and provide early-stage funding to African startups. In realization of this drive, Partech Africa, thus, headquartered itself in Dakar-Senegal as its first move.

Nigerian-based startup TradeDepot, recently raised $3 million in funding, becoming the first African startup to benefit from this scheme.

This investment is part of the global investment firm’s commitment to revive francophone Africa’s ailing startup ecosystem.

Partech’s recent fund injection into Nigeria’s TradeDepot affirms not only its commitment to revive francophone African startups but also, extend a helping hand to redefine and reshape Africa’s global startup scene.

The Lagos-based startup, TradeDepot, helps retailers in the fast-moving consumer goods sector to distribute goods in Africa.

A dream come true for TradeDepot

Partech said the funding will help establish TradeDepot’s footprint in Nigeria to start with, and its development in other countries.

But what is TradeDepot saying?

According to Onyekachi Izukame, co-founder, and CEO of TradeDepot, this first external funding round is critical for the company.

 

TradeDepot Raises $3 Million From Pan-African VC, Partech Ventures

Onyekachi Izukanne, Co-founder, and CEO of TradeDepot

“This first external funding round was critical for us: 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 said.

Since TradeDepot’s launched in 2016, the platform has developed a “360-degree solution,” that helps it coordinate all players in the trade value chain:

  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors, and
  • Retailers.

TradeDepot leverages a hyperlocal marketplace to help small-scale retailers have access to prices and discounts available from every major brand. Through the platform, retailers can also directly order for their products. Manufacturers on their part, have full control over the distribution and delivery of their products.

This solution nevertheless, has been deployed across Nigeria in distributors’ warehouses.

Why the need for distribution platforms?

Over the years, Nigeria has bred several consumer goods companies and millions of retailers. However, Onyekachi believes existing tech platforms have not effectively addressed the distribution of consumer goods problem in emerging markets.

“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. Thus, making retailers in African countries subject to some of the highest product distribution costs in the world,” he stated.

He, therefore, saw the need for the creation of direct-to-store distribution platforms like TradeDepot.  

Now, his goal is to enable every convenience store in Africa to consistently receive their supplies at the best possible prices. Through this, TradeDepot, thus, aims to be the supply partner for Africa’s retail outlets.

TradeDepot Raises $3 Million From Pan-African VC, Partech Ventures

TradeDepot founders: Onyekachi Izukanne (Left), Michael Ukpong (Middle), Ruke Awaritefe (Right)

Partech general partner, Cyril Collon describes the platform as a game-changer in Africa’s fast-moving consumer goods industry.

“We couldn’t be happier to have TradeDepot as the first investment of our African fund, as it characterizes what we want to do in Africa in the coming years: support extraordinary tech entrepreneurs to solve pan-African problems,” he said.

Fellow Partech general partner, Tidjane Deme said the company was a strong believer in tech platforms that digitize huge informal markets present across Africa.

“TradeDepot is one of them. They are addressing the largest market in Africa that is today 98% informal and 99% offline. The opportunity there is massive,” he noted.

The TradeDepot investment comes after Partech in January, launched Partech Africa, with a $122 million investment target for Africa. This fund which is dedicated to helping Africa’s digital champions with Pan-African ambitions could, however, turn out to be the continent’s next best alternative source of funding for fledgling startups.

After TradeDepot, which startup’s next?

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