Sokowatch, a Kenyan e-commerce business that uses technology to improve the informal retail supply chain, has closed a US$125 million Series B funding investment, rebranded as Wasoko, and expanded into West Africa.
Tiger Global, the world’s largest venture capital firm, and Avenir Growth Capital are leading the round, which also includes VNV Global, Binny Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart, and Sujeet Kumar, the co-founder of Udaan. Quona Capital, 4DX Ventures, and JAM Fund are among the existing investors.
Wasoko, as it is now known, has delivered 2.5 million orders to over 50,000 informal retailers in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ivory Coast, and Senegal, with revenue growth of over 500% in the last year. Following a US$125 million Series B financing, it is now aiming for even more expansion and growth.
Sokowatch, which was founded in 2016, offers free same-day delivery of vital supplies as well as finance to informal retail establishments across Africa.
Retailers can order products at any time by SMS or mobile app and have them delivered to their store using the platform’s proprietary logistics network.
“We are happy to have proved the traction and quality of business required to secure capital from world-class investors after more than six years of growing and iterating on our operations.” Wasoko’s global CEO and founder, Daniel Yu, said, “We’re totally focused on using their strategic assistance to establish one of the world’s largest e-commerce enterprises and alter access to goods and services for African citizens across the continent.”
Wasoko will be able to expand its geographic reach and product offerings across the continent with the new funding.
While continuing to maintain its market-leading position throughout its six present countries, the company is looking into expanding into Nigeria and Southern Africa.