Dealflow | July 12, 2021

Kenya’s MarketForce raises $2 million to digitize small businesses and streamline supply chains

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, July 12 – The pandemic inspired a wave of enterprise technology providers to help businesses go online (see, “Helping small businesses in emerging markets survive and thrive in 2021“). A growing number of platforms are offering one-stop shopping for inventory and logistics.

Nairobi-based MarketForce operates RejaReja, a business-to-business marketplace to help informal and small retailers procure food products and other essentials. MarketForce last month acquired Digiduka to help small retailers offer money services, like bill payments and money transfers.

The Y Combinator startup raised a $2 million pre-Series A round from P1 Ventures, Launch Africa, V8 Capital, Future Africa, GreenHouse Capital, Rebel Fund and Remapped Ventures.

Essential businesses

Most emerging markets consumers rely on informal and mom-and-pop shops for food, health and other daily needs. MaxAB last week raised $40 million for a business-to-business e-commerce platform for Egypt’s small retailers. Nigeria’s TradeDepot provides inventory sourcing and financing for informal retailers. Field Intelligence helps Africa’s independently owned pharmacies forecast, stock and pay for their drug inventory. Twiga and East Africa Fruits offer inventory and logistics services for food retailers in East Africa.