The Kenya-based retail startup, MarketForce raises $40M Series A to expand across Africa

MarketForce, the retail B2B and end-to-end distribution platform founded in Kenya has raised $40 million in Series A funding.

This round was led by a London and Lagos based African-focused investment vehicle, V8 Capital Partners. Participation was witnessed from Ten13 VC, SOSV Select Fund, Vu Ventures, Vastly Valuable Ventures, Uncovered Fund. Along with them, existing investors including Reflect Ventures, Greenhouse Capital, Century Oak Capital and Remapped Ventures also took part. Ken Njoroge, Cellulant co-founder and chairman board MarketForce also participated in the funding round.

MarketForce provides a unified digital commerce marketplace to facilitate trade among Africa’s informal merchants and leading consumer brands. It lets them maximize their profit and grow in a digital age.

MarketForce is currently operational in 5 countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. It has up to 125,000 outlets and has processed sales transactions worth $500 million.

“Our mission is to enable SMEs to grow, and what we’ve realized over time is that offering them loans is great, but that we need to empower them to access goods. And that’s why we’ve introduced this merchant inventory financing, which is like an overdraft facility, where they’re able to order goods and pay later after selling them. We started a pilot and it is going well.”

~ Mbaabu, CEO and co-founder MarketForce

Before raising $40 million Series A, MarketForce conducted a pre-Series A round that raised $2 million. This latest round brings the total funds raised by MarketForce to date to $42.5 million

After acquiring the latest investment, MarketForce plans more partnerships to bring on board other services for merchants like insurance, savings and investment. In addition to introducing new financial services, it also plans to enter additional markets in East and West Africa.

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