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Nigerian startup TradeDepot scores big with $3m in funding from Partech

Nigerian web platform TradeDepot has received $3-million in funding from Partech. It’s the global investment firm’s first commitment from its €100-million Africa fund launched earlier this year.

The announcement was made in a press release yesterday. The Lagos-based company’s platform helps retailers in the fast-moving consumer goods sector to distribute goods in Africa.

Partech said the funding will support the expansion of TradeDepot’s footprint in Nigeria and development in other countries.

Since its founding in 2015, TradeDepot has developed what it calls a “360-degree solution”, integrating all participants in the trade value chain: manufacturers, distributors and retailers. The solution has been deployed across Nigeria in distributors’ warehouses.

Partech’s commitment to TradeDepot is the global investment firm’s first commitment from its €100-million Africa fund launched earlier this year

Through TradeDepot’s platform, small retailers have a real-time view of all prices and discounts available from every major brand; they can directly order products which are then delivered to them as the order is routed to the appropriate nearby depot.

At the same time, manufacturers have full visibility over their distribution and can leverage the platform to optimise deliveries to their distributors, improve their pricing and have a direct channel towards their end-retailers.

The startup currently works with six consumer packaged-goods companies in Nigeria including Promasidor, Coca Cola and Population Sciences International.

The company has also signed up several distributors, including the country’s leading logistics provider, MDS Logistics which will have its 50 depots across the country integrated onto the platform

TradeDepot co-founder and CEO Onyekachi Izukanne said the startup’s first external funding round has proved “critical” to the company.

“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.

He believes existing tech platforms have not effectively addressed the distribution of consumer goods in emerging countries which often have millions of small and informal retailers.

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

“Our goal is to enable every convenience store in Africa to consistently receive their supplies at the best possible prices; to be the supply partner for Africa’s retail outlets,” he said.

Partech general partner Cyril Collon describes the platform as a “game changer in the industry”. “We couldn’t be happier to have TradeDepot as the first investment of our African fund, as it characterises what we want to do in Africa in the coming years: support extraordinary entrepreneurs who leverage tech to solve pan-African problems,” he said.

The TradeDepot investment comes after Partech in January announced the launch of Partech Africa, which has a targeted size of €100-million and is dedicated to digital champions with Pan-African ambitions.

Read morePartech Ventures announces launch of Africa fund, having secured €57m so far

Featured image: TradeDepot founders (from left to right) Onyekachi Izukanne, Michael Ukpong and Ruke Awaritefe