Nigeria’s B2B e-commerce startup TradeDepot has raised $10m in a new round of funding. The company, which has a distribution network of 40,000 small retailers in Nigeria, was launched in 2016.
TradeDepot reportedly received a $3m investment from digital investor Partech in a Series A funding round in 2018. This new pre-Series B funding round has raised $10m and has been co-led by Partech, International Finance Corporation, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and MSA Capital.
TradeDepot will use the funding to provide financial services and lending products for traders using its platform. More than 75% of the traders on TradeDepot’s platform are female entrepreneurs. Many lack a credit rating, but TradeDepot believes it has a way to score credit based on the data it has from its existing trading relationships.
TradeDepot’s clients include Nestlé, Unilever, Kelloggs, Arla, Danone and GB Foods. It provides a new route to market for FMCG companies hoping to reach into the traditional sector. Its traders use an Android-based mobile app, Whatsapp, USSD message or toll-free number to order stock, which are then delivered by TradeDepot’s own fleet. Traders can also make payments and manage their inventory online.
The company claims that a new store comes online to use its services every three minutes and it receives an order from a trader every four seconds, on average. This suggests a network growth of between 4,800-14,400 traders a month (assuming either an 8 hour working day or 24/7 averages). It also offers a trade intelligence service.
The major investment in TradeDepot follows large investments in other disruptive buying platforms, most notably Kenya’s Copia and Sokowatch, Egypt’s MaxAB and Nigeria’s Pricepally. Trendtype has observed a notable uptick in interest in digital platforms offering new routes to market in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought both lockdowns (meaning more demand for delivery services) and disrupted supply chains.