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Kenyan ecommerce startup Sokowatch raises $14m

Nairobi based B2B ecommerce platform Sokowatch has raised $14-million in a Series-A investment round.

Sokowatch — which was founded in 2013 by CEO Daniel Yu (pictured above) and COO Josh Middleman — enables informal retailers to place orders via SMS or its mobile app, with free same-day delivery to their shops. The platform was launched in 2016.

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The company also works with a number of multinational and local companies — including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and METL Group — to increase access to their goods in low-income areas.

US tech publication TechCrunch yesterday reported in an article that the round was led by Quona Capital and joined by Amplo, Breyer Capital, Vertex Ventures, Timon Capital and its previous investor 4Dx Ventures.

Kenyan B2B ecommerce platform Sokowatch has raised $14m in a round led by Quona Capital

The latest round follows Sokowatch’s announcement in July last year that it had expanded to Rwanda and Uganda after it secured a $2.5-million tranche of seed funding earlier in 2019 led by 4DX Ventures (see this story). The startup has since also entered Tanzania.

TechCrunch quoted Yu as saying that said the startup will use the latest investment to broaden its client services — from working-capital to data-analytics — and target new African markets.

Yu told the publication that he estimates that Sokowatch saves merchants “at least 20%” on supply-chain costs for the goods the startup supplies.

Sokowatch’s latest investment confirms that money is racing into startups in Africa’s B2B ecommerce and logistics sector.

Last year Kenya’s Twiga Foods raised $30-million, while Nigeria’s Kobo360 raised $20-million and Kenyan startup Lori Systems netted a reported nearly $30-million investment round. Last month Kenya’s Sendy raised $20-million.

Read more: Logistics vertical hotting up, as Kenya’s Sendy closes $20m Series-B round
Read more: Lori Systems, a logistics startup headed by SA man, nets ‘undisclosed’ Series-A round
Read more: Kenyan startup Twiga Foods closes $30m Series-B round
Read more: Nigeria’s Kobo360 closes whopping $20m Series-A round led by Goldman Sachs
Read more: Kenya’s Sokowatch expands to Uganda, Rwanda after $2.5m seed round
Read moreKenyan B2B ecommerce platform Sokowatch raises $2m in seed funding

Featured image: Sokowatch co-founder and CEO Daniel Yu (Facebook)

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