Nigerian startup TradeDepot, a B2B e-commerce and embedded finance platform, has raised US$110 million in an equity and debt Series B funding round to support the delivery of buy-now-pay-later services to five million SME retailers and drive further expansion of its merchant platform across the continent.
Founded in 2016, TradeDepot connects consumer goods brands in Africa directly to a target market of several million retail outlets across the continent. Via its ShopTopUp platform, the startup 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.
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.
Its US$110 million Series B equity round was led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), 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.
The funding will expedite the delivery of its buy-now-pay-later service to more retailers, increasing penetration for consumer goods brands and driving prosperity in one of the continent’s most critical sectors.
“We remain super focused on making digital commerce and financing both accessible and affordable to neighbourhood retailers across key cities in Africa. We are delighted to be joined by an elite group of new investors and have IFC’s Wale Ayeni and Brian Odhambo of Novastar joining our board of directors, to support us on this journey to drive growth and prosperity across the continent,” 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 per cent 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.”