Partech Africa, a venture capital company launched in January 2018 to focus on investing in Afrika's technology startups, has made its first investment into an Afrikan startup. This comes after the venture capital firm announced it led the $3 million Series A funding round into Nigeria's TradeDepot.

At the time of launching, Partech Africa had indicated that it will be looking to invest a minimum of approximately $600,000 and up to about $6 million per initial ticket.

β€œThis first external funding round was critical for us: we have proven that there is a strong demand for such a distribution platform among consumer goods companies and retailers in emerging markets, and we now wish to use these funds to support our growth strategy. For a very long time, consumer goods distribution in emerging countries with millions of small and informal retailers at the end of the supply chain has been very poorly addressed by existing tech platforms. We want to change this status quo: in Nigeria alone, this $340bn market loses more than $4bn every year due to a lack of visibility and the resulting waste in logistics, making retailers in African countries subject to some of the highest product distribution costs in the world. Our goal is to enable every convenience store in Africa to consistently receive their supplies at the best possible prices; to be THE supply partner for Africa's retail outlets,” said Onyekachi Izukanne, co-founder and CEO at TradeDepot.

Founded in 2016, TradeDepot is a Nigerian technology startup with an integrated SaaS platform for Consumer Goods distribution in emerging markets. The startup has indicated that it hopes to use the investment funds to expand their footprint in Nigeria and also start developing their business in other markets. So far, through TradeDepot's SaaS platform, small retailers are able to have a real time view of all prices and discounts available from every major brand; they can directly order products which are then delivered to them as the order is routed to the appropriate nearby depot. At the same time, manufacturers have full visibility over their distribution and can leverage the platform to optimize deliveries to their distributors, improve their pricing and have a direct channel towards their end-retailers.

β€œAt Partech, we are strong believers in tech platforms that digitize the huge informal markets that are present in Africa. TradeDepot is one of them: they are addressing the largest market in Africa, that is today 98% informal and 99% offline. The opportunity there is massive. Partnering with TradeDepot was a no-brainer for us after the first meeting. We were fully convinced by the founders’ vision, their strong understanding of the market and their ambition to transform this industry. The deep market experience of Kachi, Michael and Ruke has proven to be very efficient in their first two years of development and we are extremely proud to come onboard and support them in this next phase of growth,” concluded Tidjane Deme, General Partner at Partech Africa.

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