October Newsletter 2020/04

1. Nigeria’s TradeDepot plans to be the preferred supply chain partner for micro-retailers in Nigeria

TradeDepot is a B2B distribution platform that connects FMCG companies with micro-retailers in Nigeria. The company is servicing a network of more than 40,000 informal retailers in Nigeria and has grand ambitions to expand beyond the country’s borders and be the preferred supply chain partner for micro-retailers in Africa.

Partners: The startup works with multinational and local FMCG companies like Nestle, Arla, Unilever, Danone and Promasidor, and aims to bring more affordable goods and regular supply to a fragmented retail base, and plans to improve retail margins and reduce working capital requirements for micro-retailers.

Platform improvements: To easier find products on the platform, the startup built a hyperlocal product discovery system to ensure that each retailer only sees products and prices available for their specific location. TradeDepot also developed geo-tracking tools to monitor their sales force and implemented a retail execution tool that enables field staff to work offline—as internet disruptions are common in Nigeria.

Nigeria challenge: Nigeria’s retail market is predominantly fragmented, dominated by a complex distribution network of micro-retailers, kiosks, hawkers, table-top sellers, open market traders, wholesalers, and suppliers. Retailers are small, spread out over many locations, and with low volume per drop—distributors struggle to service them cost-effectively. There are an estimated 1.2 million informal retailers in Nigeria, according to Nielsen.

2. Removing the hassle and red tape for Zimbabweans living and shopping in South Africa

Hello Paisa created a cross-border ecommerce app called Malaicha, or “deliverer of goods” in Ndebele. Customers make their purchases using the app—receive a reference number—and pay for their items online or at Malaicha outlets. 

Pick-up or delivery: Goods can be picked up from outlets in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo and Gweru. The app alerts the beneficiaries in Zimbabwe via an SMS with a reference code to collect the items. Malaicha also provides delivery services to your door, for customers unable to collect.

Zimbabweans in South Africa: There are more than three million Zimbabweans living in South Africa, as the country struggles with hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods. For Zimbabweans with family connections in the country, South Africa is an important shopping destination. For many, it is simply too expensive to shop in Zimbabwe and often products are out of stock.

3. Order Kasi is delivering the township taste to your front door in South Africa

The South African B2C delivery platform connects township eateries with customers on their platform—servicing customers in the townships—or professionals that have moved to the suburbs and are missing the township taste.

Food delivery in South Africa: Food delivery services in South Africa are dominated by UberEats—owned by Uber, and Mr D Food—owned by Naspers. Other players such as OrderIn and Bolt Food have also entered the market. By some estimates, more than a million orders are processed each month. Many food deliveries companies are not targeting informal settlements, because they don’t have franchises operating in those areas. 

Diversification: Order Kasi is also looking to expand beyond traditional food delivery and is targeting the B2B delivery market in the townships. The startup is currently in discussions with financial services organisations, couriers, and B2B ecommerce companies looking to expand their reach in the townships. They are also in talks with an impact incubator in Cape Town, to provide deliveries for dark kitchens and township residents with home gardens.

4. Other news

Amazon and kirana stores: Amazon is expanding its local delivery system in India with its “I Have Space” (IHS) program—including more than 28,000 neighbourhood or kirana stores in close to 350 cities. Amazon partners with kirana stores to deliver products to customers within a 2 to 4-kilometre radius of their store.

Vingroup targets tap hoa : Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate, Vingroup, launched a mobile app for mom-and-pop retail stores, helping them to digitise their business and order products. Vietnam’s small groceries or tap hoaface growing competition from modern minimarts such as 7-Eleven, Ministop and B’s Mart. 

Indonesia’s informal market continues to attract investment: Startups aiming to digitise Indonesia’s micro-retailers, continue to attract investment, even amid the coronavirus pandemic. BukuWarung, a bookkeeping app that focuses on small vendors or warung, recently announced that it had raised an unspecified amount of capital from investors. 

Why B2C ecommerce hasn’t yet scaled in African marketsAfridigest interviewed several startup founders and industry players on the continent to get their view.

South Africa’s Yoco and the pandemicTechcabal looks at how the pandemic impacted 80,000 small business owners in South Africa.

Kirana electric vehicle charging points: An Indian startup set up a network of electric vehicle charging points at kirana stores or neighbourhood groceries in Bengaluru. Customers can charge any electric scooter and the company established a revenue-sharing model with kiranas.

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