How TradeDepot is transforming the African retail landscape
In April 2018, Partech announced the first Partech Africa fund investment in TradeDepot, a Nigerian company. TradeDepot is building the platform digitizing retail distribution in Africa and has developed a 360° solution integrating manufacturers, distributors and retailers in an integrated distribution platform. We met Onyekachi Izukanne, TradeDepot co-founder and CEO.
What’s the concrete impact of your solutions for your customers?
We are focused on solving distribution problems for the multi-trillion-dollar informal retail economy. Our distribution platform addresses the needs of two customer groups: small retailers and distributors. By making products more readily available to retailers and at better prices, we enable them to boost their sales and improve their margins. At the same time, we connect FMCG distributors to these informal retailers, enabling them to sell at better margins and offload stock faster, thus reducing their working capital needs.
Today, you work with informal retailers and with large FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) distributors. How do you bridge the gap between them?
By providing the tools that connect both parties to our platform. Our digital platform allows us to visualize the orders coming from these small retailers. To ensure efficient fulfilment, we aggregate these orders to the closest appropriate distributors and schedule delivery to the retailers. Previously, as retailers are small, fragmented and spread across many locations, large distributors had struggled to engage individually with them. With an estimated 1.2 million informal retailers in Nigeria alone (Nielsen), the potential is huge.
Your Product seems to be a big part of the value added for your partners and customers. What product improvements have you made since April?
Over the past 7 months, we used what we have learned since TradeDepot’s launch to make quite a few product changes.
One of the most important improvements has been...
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