TradeDepot: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
TradeDepot started as a consulting firm in 2005 before pivoting into a product-led startup in 2016 to aid seamless milk distribution across Nigeria.
Now, the platform is connecting consumer goods brands in Africa directly to a target market of several million retail outlets across the continent and also providing micro-loans to retailers to enable them to buy more products.
TradeDepot is an end-to-end distribution platform that aims to connect the world’s top consumer goods companies directly to retailers on the streets of Africa’s cities. With a network of over 40,000 micro retailers across Nigeria, TradeDepot aims to build the largest retail distribution network in Africa.
TradeDepot was also founded with a mission to improve milk distribution to smaller retailers on the continent, using technology.
Today, the company is scaling the same technology to improve the distribution of food, beverages, and personal care products to retailers, and to improve the livelihoods of these retail store owners.
TradeDepot, therefore, connects consumer goods brands in Africa directly to a target market of several million retail outlets across the continent.
Via its ShopTopUp platform, the startup offers a broad range of consumer goods to SME retailers within its network and provides credit lines to enable these retailers to access inventory and pay in installments as they sell on to their customers.
With active operations in 12 cities across Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa, TradeDepot leverages its data, technology, and robust logistics operations to connect retailers with suppliers and unlock financing to fund inventory purchases for retailers, enabling increased sales, higher margins, and other value-added services for all parties.
After operating as a platform that enables the distribution of consumer goods from factories to retailers for four years, TradeDepot announced its foray into financial services and credit offerings for retailers in July 2020.
TradeDepot has grown from over 40,000 merchants on its platform to more than 100,000 merchants.
Working with TradeDepot, retailers across Nigeria have increased their revenue and improved their business outcomes as a result of better access to products for their stores.
One retailer grew the number of sales transacted by more than 15x. Another retailer who was barely breaking even and had seen no real growth in 15 years was able to increase her net monthly margin by almost 100 percent monthly, hire three new employees, and is now considering expansion.
Using data and analytics to inform better retail decision-making at each stage of the supply chain, TradeDepot has recorded considerable growth since its launch, activating a new store every three minutes, and receiving a retailer order every 4 seconds, on average. The company has also tripled its volume of trade in the last 12 months.
Additionally, TradeDepot has built a network of leading consumer goods brands and SME retailers across Africa and created a proprietary risk-scoring engine that uses retailers’ purchase history, previous repayment performance, and other related data points to predict their creditworthiness.
This game-changing financing model coupled with industry-leading technology to support logistics operations has led to a 200 percent increase in transaction volumes for retail store owners.
How it Works
ShopTopUp is the platform that helps you grow your retail business quickly by giving you instant loans to stock up your shop. You can also buy products at the best prices directly from manufacturers right from the ShopTopUp App.
You can buy a wide range of goods, over 200 brands, in different categories such as Foodstuff, Drinks, Toiletries, Detergents, and Baby Care.
As a retail business owner, all you need to get an instant loan from ShopTopUp is the ShopTopUp app.
Once you download the ShopTopUp app on Google Play Store and get started, you can complete your application on the app and your ShopTopUp wallet will be automatically credited.
You can borrow between ₦50,000 – ₦500,000 with a loan period of either 14 days or 28 days. You can also choose to repay the loan either on a weekly or a bi-weekly basis.
Additionally, no collateral is required to get a loan from ShopTopUp.
Retailers order and pay for goods using TradeDepot’s mobile apps, USSD, or a toll-free number and have them delivered directly to their stores via the company’s fleet of vans and tricycles.
They can also order stock and manage their inventory online, with several ways to pay, including digital payments and cash.
For consumer goods brands, TradeDepot enables direct-to-retail distribution in the massive informal sector in some of Africa’s busiest cities.
TradeDepot also provides a CRM and data management system that enables suppliers to plan and monitor their sales routes in real-time, as well as gain invaluable insights into trade and retail data.
Onyekachi Izukanne is the current CEO & Co-Founder of TradeDepot.
He previously worked at Mobilizr LLC as an Advisor.
Michael Ukpong is the current CTO & Co-Founder of TradeDepot.
He previously worked at C2G Consulting as a Co-Founder and Director.
Michael Ukpong attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Ruke Awaritefe is the current Co-Founder & CFO of TradeDepot.
Investors & Funding Rounds
Partech Africa, IFC, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), MSA Capital
TradeDepot has raised a further $10 million in a pre-Series B equity round co-led by Partech, International Finance Corporation, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), and MSA Capital. This is in addition to the $3 million Series A led by Partech in 2018.
TradeDepot will use the new investment to continue its integration of the fragmented informal retail supply chain in Nigeria, expand into other African cities and launch a suite of financial products and credit facilities, to support its retailers.
In a bid to help retailers grow their businesses, TradeDepot is set to launch a suite of financial products and credit facilities.
Many retailers do not have the collateral that banks demand but by leveraging their trading relationship with TradeDepot, retailers can access the funds they need to buy more goods, scale their businesses and generate more revenue.
More than 75 percent of the retailers on TradeDepot’s platform are female entrepreneurs and TradeDepot will offer mentorship and opportunities to link with domestic and global markets, to further support its predominantly female customer base to grow and expand their businesses.
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