Copia: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
A Latin word meaning abundance was formed by silicon valley veterans Tracey turner and Jonathan lewis back in 2013.
Copia is bringing eCommerce to the Base of the Pyramid, transforming this historically neglected market into empowered global consumers. It is the best of Amazon plus FedEx plus a healthy dose of BoP expertise. The advent of mobile technologies is the game-changer, enabling Copia to provide a profitable, high-quality service to the BoP for the first time in history
The vision they had was to use the power of mobile phones in eCommerce to both middle and low-income Africans. They had a dream to empower the historically neglected market to become global consumers.
Starting in Kenya, Tracey had a good overview having stayed in Kenya and the challenge of no internet envisioned a platform with quality customer service, no internet, no big wallet, and delivering to places with no paved roads.
As of January 2022, the company has employed over 600 employees and launched Uganda offices in 2021.
The company works with over 30,000 agents who serve as ordering and delivery points. Copia is the first and only B2C e-commerce platform with a distribution solution to serve the rapidly growing 750 million middle and low-income African consumer market.
In Africa, 75% of the mass market are middle or low-income consumers. It has tapped brilliantly and serves over a million customers as of today. By harnessing the power of mobile ordering, digital payments, automated processing, and logistics, Copia has served over 1M customers since its inception.
Women empowerment has been part of its pillars and as of 2021, the number of women agents had grown to over 77% of agents hence contributing to the financial wellbeing of the communities.
The company headquarters are at tatu city Kiambu Kenya.
The Technology Used
Mobile ordering: Agents place orders using the Copia App and SMS technology. Each order includes the end customer’s phone number so that buying patterns can be analyzed.
Digital Payments: Agents make payments using mobile money.
Real-Time Communication: Both Agents and customers receive order confirmations and delivery information through SMS.
Automated Processing: Order processing and fulfillment is automated in our custom-designed ERP.
QR Coding: Orders are QR-coded and stickered to goods for scannability at all stages.
Mobile Delivery Tracking: Delivery teams use a Delivery App to confirm delivery to Agents.
Sophisticated Logistics Software: Warehousing and Logistics use advanced real-time dashboards to monitor progress on kitting and delivery
Copia’s current delivery region covers 22% of Kenya’s rural population, with expansion happening all the time. We currently deliver to all or part of the Counties in Central Kenya, Western Kenya, and Rift Valley.
Tracey Turner (Founder & Chairman)
Tracey is a well-known social entrepreneur who founded three companies before starting Copia.
Tracey holds a degree in Engineering and Economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Stanford Business School.
Crispin Murira (Founder & Executive Vice President, Innovations and Digital Commerce)
Successful startup and growth organization leader focussed on leading teams to build via iteration-based innovation. Accomplished Executive with domestic and international experience in operations, business development, P&L oversight, multi-channel product distribution, infrastructure build-up and marketing involving both start-up and growth organizations.
Investors & Funding history
Goodwell acquired an undisclosed stake in the company for US$2 million through its uMunthu fund, which invests up to 50 percent of its funds in inclusive businesses operating in sectors other than financial inclusion. The uMunthu fund targets companies providing services that matter to low-income households, either because they spend much of their income or time in these sectors, or because these offer the best opportunities to improve livelihoods.