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African retail and ecommerce marketplace TradeDepot raised $110 million in a Series B equity funding round led by Novastar, CDC Group, Endeavour Catalyst and World Bank Group member IFC (International Finance Corporation). Arcadia Funds led the debt funding component.
TradeDepot built a network of leading consumer goods brands and uses a risk scoring engine to check SME retailer credit worthiness.
We remain super focused on making digital commerce and financing both accessible and affordable to neighbourhood retailers across key cities in Africa,” says Onyekachi Izukanne, CEO and co-founder of TradeDepot.
“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.”
The funding round will allow the company to speed up delivery to more retailers and increase its penetration in the $1 trillion annual sales value SME retail market. TradeDepot is active in 12 cities across Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
“The informal sector is a large and critical part of Africa’s economy, accounting for around 80 percent of jobs in the region,” explains IFC MD Makhtar Diop.
“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.”
IFC has a history of shying away from fintech investments, but the massive transaction volumes gained from the company’s proprietary credit vetting engine could be a big boost for the continent.
Featured image supplied by TradeDepot