MarketForce, a Kenyan retail distribution platform, has raised Ksh. 215,880,000 ($2 million) to launch in Nigeria and to scale up operations in RejaReja to more towns in East Africa. This brings MarketForce’s total funding to Ksh. 269,850,000 ($2.5 million) after it raised Ksh. 37.8 million ($350,000) seed round last year and Ksh. 16.2 million ($150,000) from the Y Combinator.
The funding was raised from V8 Capital, Future Africa, Greenhouse Capital, Launch Africa, Rebel Fund, Remapped Ventures, and angel investors. Y Combinator and other existing investor P1 Ventures also participated in the round.
Speaking on the newly acquired funding, Tesh Mbaabu, Co-Founder and CEO of MarketForce said, “We are seeing significant demand for our radically improved way for companies to distribute their goods and services in Africa, and we’re thrilled to get a boost from returning and new investors at this crucial time. The combination of our technology with the offline distribution network that we are building is essential to creating maximum output and impact in African retail distribution.”
MarketForce recently acquired Digiduka, which was formed and funded during the inaugural cohort of the Antler program in Nairobi. The acquisition aided in its growth of RejaReja which now provides a wallet that allows retailers to collect mobile money and bank payments via mobile app, WhatsApp bot or USSD shortcode. This eliminates the high mobile money transaction fees and enabling merchants accept digital payments, access working credit and earn more by acting as distribution agents.
RejaReja, slang for informal aims to digitize the supply chain processes of informal retail merchants who buy and sell FMCGs and digital financial services. The new platform helps these dukas or corner shops to get better service, assortment, and access to new revenue opportunities. Currently available in Kenya, RejaReja offers informal retailers next-day delivery for hundreds of SKUs from the leading FMCG brands.
In Nigeria, MarketForce will take on SokoWatch and TradeDepot which raised more than Ksh. 1 billion ($10 million) to continue its integration of the fragmented informal retail supply chain in Nigeria. TradeDepot will also use the funds to expand into other African cities and launch a suite of financial products and credit facilities, to support its retailers.
Co-founded in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti, MarketForce uniquely combines a field sales automation SaaS solution.