B2B eCommerce firm TradeDepot, has announced that it secured $110 million in an equity and debt funding round to support the delivery of Buy-Now-Pay-Later services to 5 million SME retailers across Africa.
TradeDeport said it will also use the funding to further expand its merchant platform on the continent.
The Series B equity round was led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – a member of the World Bank Group, with participation from Novastar, Sahel Capital, CDC Group, Endeavor Catalyst and existing investors, Partech and MSA Capital. The debt funding was led by Arcadia Funds.
Africa’s SME retailers generate $1 trillion in sales annually and contribute $2.6 trillion to the continent’s nominal GDP, but a fragmented distribution network and lack of access to financing has led to inefficiencies in distribution and many missed opportunities across the value chain.
Via its ShopTopUp platform, TradeDepot offers a broad range of consumer goods to SME retailers within its network and provides credit lines to enable these retailers to access inventory and pay in installments as they sell on to their own customers.
The new funding will expedite the delivery of this service to more retailers, increasing penetration for consumer goods brands and driving prosperity in one of the continent’s most critical sectors.
With active operations in 12 cities across Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, TradeDepot leverages its data, technology and robust logistics operations to connect retailers with suppliers and unlock financing to fund inventory purchases for retailers, enabling increased sales, higher margins and other value-added services for all parties.
“We remain super focused on making digital commerce and financing both accessible and affordable to neighbourhood retailers across key cities in Africa,” said Onyekachi Izukanne, CEO and co-founder of TradeDepot.
TradeDepot has built a network of leading consumer goods brands and SME retailers across Africa, and created a proprietary risk scoring engine that uses retailers’ purchase history, previous repayment performance and other related data points to predict their creditworthiness.
This financing model coupled with industry-leading technology to support logistics operations has led to a 200 percent increase in transaction volumes for retail store owners.
“The informal sector is a large and critical part of Africa’s economy, accounting for around 80 per cent of jobs in the region,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director. “We are excited to work with TradeDepot to leverage technology to help small businesses across the continent, particularly the many retailers led by women, access the resources they need to grow and scale.”