Kenyan ecommerce firm Copia raises $26m for expansion across Africa


Nairobi-based consumer goods catalogue and delivery service Copia has raised a $26-million Series-B equity round led by UK-based impact investing initiative LGT Lightstone.

Copia made the announcement in a statement today. The company said that Dutch impact investor Goodwell Investments also participated in the round together with Perivoli Innovations, Endeavor Catalyst and ELEA.

The startup — founded in 2013 by Americans Tracey Turner (pictured above) and Jonathan Lewis — uses technology and a network of over 5000 local agents and shopkeepers to deliver goods and services to underserved consumers in rural Kenya.

Copia was founded in 2013 by Americans Tracey Turner and Jonathan Lewis

Copia said it will use the investment to expand across Kenya and other African markets. To date, the company has fulfilled more than three million orders.

Turner explained that while mobile technology underpins all the company does, it is Copia’s relentless focus on building trust — through reliable delivery, quality products, low prices and uncompromising customer service — that has enabled the firm to succeed in a market that she said many perceive as impossible to serve.

LGT Lightstone partner Shakir Merali said Copia’s ecommerce model is the next big African leapfrogging technology.

“Just like mobile phones leapfrogged landlines and solar power leapfrogged the grid, Copia is leapfrogging retail. LGT Lightstone believes Copia’s m-commerce model is the way to reach a huge untapped market that others cannot serve” added Merali.

New board members

Copia also announced that it had appointed former NCBA Bank chairman Isaac Awuondo, as well as Bettry Mwangi, who helped launch mobile money service Mpesa while at Safaricom, to the company’s board.

Mwangi, the company said, will be instrumental in driving Copia’s technology as well as the growth of its agent network.

In January, Goodwell Investments invested $2-million in the firm (see this story).

Last month, Turner — along with Copia CEO Tim Steel, Cospia’s founding CEO Crispin Murira — were among 37 entrepreneurs selected to join Endeavor, a non-profit organisation that supports high-impact entrepreneurs around the world (see this story).

Read more: Team from Kenyan startup Copia among Endeavor’s latest entrepreneurs to join fold
Read more:
Goodwell makes $2m equity investment in Kenyan-based ecommerce firm Copia

Featured image: Copia co-founder Tracey Turner (via YouTube)



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