Susa Ventures and Golden Ventures led a $5 million seed round for Powered by People, a Kenyan wholesale e-commerce platform, with participation from Flexport Ventures, J Ventures, and Fabric’s founders.
Powered by People is a mobile-first, distributed manufacturing system that offers online tools, financing solutions, and a B2B marketplace for small and mid-sized businesses in the creative manufacturing and handmade sectors.
The startup was founded in 2019 by Ella Peinovich, Hedvig Alexander, and Alison Phillips.
Over 200 companies and 45,000 craftspeople from 47 countries cooperate with the firm to sell to retailers such as West Elm and The Citizenry in major areas such as North America and Asia.
Powered by People connects small businesses with retailers who value supply-chain transparency, sustainability, and small-batch production — businesses that are likewise motivated by the need for diversity and have promised to help small businesses stay up with the surge of conscious consumers.
By mid-March, the company had achieved an annualized run rate of $15 million in total gross merchandise value, which they intend to increase to $25 million by the end of the year. The platform’s average order value is $1,200.
The new funding will be used to boost transaction volumes by increasing the number of small businesses that utilize its B2B online platform to connect with foreign buyers.
Read more on Tech Gist Africa:
Formerly known as Sokowatch, Kenyan e-commerce startup Wasoko has raised $125 million in Series B funding
Hence Technologies, a Rwandan online marketplace for lawyers, has received $1.8 million in funding
d.light, a solar energy startup, has received $7 million in equity funding