MarketForce, a B2B platform for retail distribution of consumer goods and digital financial services in Africa, has closed a Ksh. 4.55 billion (USD 40 million) Series A round. The round was led by V8 Capital Partners with participation from Ten13 VC, SOSV Select Fund, Vu Ventures, Vastly Valuable Ventures and Uncovered Fund, and various existing investors. These include Reflect Ventures, Greenhouse Capital, Century Oak Capital and Remapped Ventures.

Ken Njoroge, Co-founder and former CEO of Cellulant also participated in the round, and joins the board as Chairman. The oversubscribed round was made up of equity and debt.

In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 90% of household retail transactions are in cash, and delivered through a network of about 100 million MSMEs. Retail payments on the continent are expected to top Ksh. 239 trillion (USD 2.1 trillion) by 2025, with MarketForce aiming to digitize a large portion of these offline transactions.

MarketForce runs an asset-light operating model and is currently operational in 5 markets including Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, with the merchant super app, RejaReja. The app offers informal merchants next-day delivery for hundreds of SKUs from the leading FMCG brands.

MarketForce plans to use the newly acquired funding to scale merchant inventory financing through a BNPL offering, grow deeper in existing markets and avail more digital financial and banking services. The company has a team of 400 and intends to double the team before the end of the year.

“Our goal is be the ultimate partner for informal merchants, empowering them to maximize their profits and grow in a digital age by getting better service, assortment, and access to new revenue opportunities, outfitting them with the technology and support they need to transform themselves from simple FMCG outlets to comprehensive financial service hubs for the continent’s last-mile communities,” said Tesh Mbaabu, Cofounder and CEO of MarketForce. “We are targeting to serve over 1 million active merchants on our platform in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025.”