Home » MarketForce gets $40 million in funding backed by Kenyan businessman Ken Njoroge

MarketForce gets $40 million in funding backed by Kenyan businessman Ken Njoroge

by Omokolade Ajayi

MarketForce, a Nairobi-based retail B2B and end-to-end distribution platform managed by Tesh Mbaabu, has secured $40 million in a Series-A funding round joined by Kenyan entrepreneur and startup creator Ken Njoroge.

The Series-A funding round, the largest of its kind in East and Central Africa, comes seven months after the Kenyan business secured $2 million in a pre-Series A funding round, bringing the total funds garnered to $42.5 million.

V8 Capital Partners, an African-focused investment entity with offices in London and Lagos, Nigeria, led the $40-million capital round.

Cellulant co-founder Njoroge, who joined MarketForce as the chairman of the board, also participated in the investment round. Other investors participating in the round included Ten13 VC, SOSV Select Fund, Vu Ventures and Vastly Valuable Ventures.

The capital injection will be used to finance merchant inventories and expand across Africa.

Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti founded MarketForce in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2018 to digitize retail distribution for emerging markets, with a primary focus on assisting consumer brands in managing their field sales operations and expanding their distribution networks in Africa.

MarketForce has handled $500 million in sales transactions and mapped out more than 125,000 retail outlets in five countries since its inception over four years ago, while working with over 50 brands such as Nestle, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Unilever, Bidco and METL Group.

Mbaabu, co-founder and CEO of MarketForce, commented on the round, saying the move is consistent with the company’s mission to be the best partner for informal merchants by empowering them to optimize their revenues and develop.

He went on to say that, to achieve this lofty aim, merchants must be equipped with the technology and assistance that they need to transform their businesses from basic FMCG stores into full financial service hubs for the continent’s last-mile communities.

Nearly two months ago, the B2B retail and financial services distribution platform established a strategic partnership with Cellulant, Njoroge’s pan-African payment company.

The partnership will enable MarketForce to expand its RejaReja retailer’s “super app” to more than 1 million merchants in seven countries, with five more Sub-Saharan African nations joining in 2022.

Aside from the extra income prospects that will be explored as a result of the collaboration, the combination of MarketForce and Cellulant will enable MSMEs to fully use the power of mobile-first financial distribution technology and infrastructure to build their companies.

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