Kenyan B2C e-commerce company Copia Global has raised $50 million in Series C round to grow its model across East Africa and to expand into other African countries.
The company also plans to expand into Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi depending on socioeconomic and political macroeconomic conditions.
The round was led by Goodwell Investments. Other significant participants in the funding were previous investors LGT Lightrock, DEG Equity and Perivoli Innovations. They are joined by new investors Zebu Capital, the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Koa Labs. It’s total funding since its inception now stands at $103 million.
Launched in Kenya in 2013 by Tracey Turner and Jonathan Lewis, the company harnesses mobile technologies and a network of local agents and proprietary to reach its customers.
“While mobile technology underpins all we do, it is Copia’s relentless focus on building trust – by providing low prices, quality products, reliable delivery and uncompromising customer service – that has enabled Copia to succeed in a market that many perceived impossible,” Tim Steel, CEO of Copia, said.
Els Boerhof, the managing partner at Goodwell Investments, added: “People in rural areas in Africa typically travel to the nearest city to buy essential goods such as building materials or medicine, which is costly and time-intensive: on average rural Kenyans, for example, spend over an hour and ~$4 per commute. Copia’s e-commerce model is built for the unique requirements of the African market and will save many Africans a lot of time and money. We see it as one of the next big leapfrogging technologies; just like mobile phones leapfrogged landlines and solar power leapfrogged the grid, Copia is leapfrogging retail. We are delighted to continue to support Copia by leading their Series C round.”
Currently operating in Kenya and Uganda, the company targets people who do not have Internet access through a network of 30,000 agents. Customers can also place orders online, by phone or via USSD messages. To date, the company says it has fulfilled more than 10 million orders.