Africa’s 10 Top-Funded E-Commerce & Logistics Tech Startups in 2022
The rising adoption of smart devices, along with increased internet access among the population, has helped to establish a strong basis for e-commerce development in Africa. Customers are also shifting away from brick-and-mortar retail channels towards online businesses for an easier shopping experience, thus further promoting e-commerce activities across the continent.
Consequently, Africa has quickly become one of the world's fastest-growing e-commerce markets with plenty of potential yet to be uncovered. As of 2022, the number of digital shoppers in Africa has surpassed 387 million and is expected to grow significantly in the coming years to reach 600 million by 2027, according to Statista.
Digest Africa’s “100 Most Funded African Startups” List
Digest Africa is an Uganda-based data analytics and intelligence firm that provides an exhaustive database of African startups. It has recently listed the 100 most funded African e-commerce and transportation startups to provide an insight into the continent's digital frontrunners.
Based on their research, the top 100 African startups raised $10 billion in 436 transactions, for an average of $23 million in each transaction. A total of 13 African nations were included on the list, with Nigeria (27 startups) and Kenya (23 startups) making for half of the whole. South Africa and Egypt, the other two members of the big four, are represented by 34 companies, meaning the major four account for 84% of the 100 startups.
Listed below are 10 of the most funded e-commerce and logistics tech companies from Digest Africa’s list that we think are worth keeping an eye on:
1) Jumia Group
As one of the top e-commerce companies in Africa, Jumia Group is centered on a marketplace with Jumia Logistics and JumiaPay. The marketplace connects and transacts millions of buyers and vendors. Through its network of local partners, Jumia Logistics is able to deliver millions of items. Meanwhile, JumiaPay allows online transaction payments for Jumia's ecosystem.
With nearly 10 years of experience, Jumia Group is embracing the digital transformation of the African economy and assisting African enterprises in growing and extending their horizons. The company has over 50,000 native African enterprises and people as partners. Dedicated to making a long-term difference in Africa, Jumia provides one-of-a-kind possibilities in a thriving environment, producing new employment, new talents, and inspiring a new generation.
Takealot is South Africa's leading e-commerce company and one of the largest and most inventive e-commerce merchants on the African continent. The company was founded with a single goal: to become Africa's largest, easiest, and most customer-centric online shopping destination.
Since its beginning, it has swiftly expanded, building and expanding warehouses in Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town, as well as growing department choices to over 21 departments in Media & Gaming, Electronics, Lifestyle, and Fashion. According to Statista's most recent report, this South African e-commerce portal is the most visited e-commerce platform in Africa with 13.9 million monthly visits.
3) Twiga Foods
Twiga is a mobile-based supply chain platform for African retail stores, kiosks, and market stalls. Its principal activity is the sale and distribution of fruits and vegetables to small and medium-sized urban merchants, which range from small convenience shops and kiosks to street-side table tops and shop carts.
In recent years, the firm has continued to grow and improve its distribution center network in order to establish an efficient, broad, and fresh produce and retail supply network, offering clients a comprehensive national, regional, and local supplier portfolio. Following the $50M equity funding in November 2021, the fresh-produce startup is expected to reach unicorn status within the next five years.
Founded in Kenya in 2013 by CEO Daniel Yu as an asset-light platform and marketplace, Wasoko delivers fast-moving consumer products from suppliers to retailers. It enables merchants in Kenya, Rwanda, the Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Uganda, and Senegal to order items from suppliers by SMS or the Wasoko mobile app for same-day shipment to their shops and stores via a network of logistics drivers.
This makes it easy for retailers to get items and helps producers guarantee that their goods are always available to customers. For retailers that want working money to obtain additional items, the firm also provides a buy now, pay later option, the newest trend for B2B retail and logistics services.
TradeDepot is a Nigeria- and US-based company providing services and software solutions. Its platform offers predictive analysis to set competitive product prices, run targeted campaigns, optimize inventory, and auto-generate sale promotions. Moreover, it allows fast-moving consumer goods companies to have control and visibility over the route-to-market for manufacturers and prevent out-of-stock situations.
Last year, the company received $110 million in new equity and debt fundingas it seeks to open more retail locations and extend its purchase now, pay later service throughout the continent, making it one of Nigeria's and Africa's largest tech startups.
For more than 20 years, Clickatell has been a leader in mobile messaging, engagement, and commerce. Today, the company is striving to make the world a better place via technology by making chat commerce available to everyone, everywhere. According to its website, it currently covers 220+ territories, 1000+ networks and 85% of the world’s population with an SMS reach of more than 5 billion users.
Just last year, Clickatell began collaborating with South Africa's favorite low-cost airline, FlySafair, to launch a WhatsApp customer communication channel. Thanks to the platform, FlySafair was able to expand its customer support offering to the popular WhatsApp channel, which is utilized by 96% of South Africa's internet population.
7) Copia Global
Copia Global is one of the top e-commerce companies in Africa that caters to medium and low-income Africans. Copia offers essential items to over 1.9 million people in Kenya and Uganda using mobile applications, a network of over 40,000 agents, and an innovative last-mile logistics infrastructure. The company uses mobile technology, a network of local agents, and its patented Copia Logistics to access a market that conventional retail and Western e-commerce platforms cannot.
In January this year, the company raised $50 million in a Series C equity round led by Goodwell Investments. The round also saw participation from new investors such as Zebu Investment Partners and Koa Labs along with previous backers including Lightrock and the German development finance institution DEG.
MaxAB is a B2B e-commerce platform that links food and grocery stores with suppliers in underserved areas. In addition to e-commerce, it also operates in fintech and data analytics. This company strives to empower merchants by providing them access to a diverse choice of products, superior service, and operational assistance. Its technology-enabled supply chain assists in delivering the appropriate amount of food to the right place at the right time.
Since its inception in 2018, MaxAB has helped to connect suppliers with over 150,000 distinct conventional merchants in the food and grocery supply chain across Egypt, Casablanca and Morocco, having generated more than 2.5 million orders during this period.
Konga is an e-commerce platform based in Lagos. Its mission is to be Africa's e-commerce engine, making people happy by providing an extraordinarily simple and convenient method to buy products online.
To achieve that, this firm provides both a third-party online marketplace and first-party direct retail in a variety of categories, such as consumer electronics, home appliances, fashion, computers and accessories, phones and tablets, health care, and personal care products. The firm also includes a commerce logistics service (KXPRESS) that allows products to be sent and delivered to clients on time.
10) Lori Systems
Lori Systems is a technology-driven logistics company that is providing shippers with solutions to transport their cargo, extend working capital facilities and manage their operations. According to the company CEO Uche Ogboi, the startup is currently prioritizing growth and sustainability by broadening its product range and digitizing its transport management platform.
“At this stage in our journey, and in this current market, we made the strategic decision to extend our Series A rather than raise a Series B on unfavorable terms,” Uche commented. “We are excited by this opportunity to partner with Google and expect to reevaluate our investment options sometime in the first half of next year.”
What’s Next for Africa’s E-Commerce?
Supply chain services in Africa face the same underlying issues as other industries in the region: inadequate infrastructure drives up prices and thwarts efficiency. Problems connecting online purchases to offline operations, as well as customs processes, are also supply-chain challenges. In this context, tech startups will be critical in streamlining Africa's supply chain.
We expect to see more e-commerce and transportation startups rise to the challenge as the economic situation shifts. Stay updated to see which businesses appear on the list next year!
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