African B2B Marketplace Kwely Catches $1 Million

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African B2B marketplace Kwely Inc. closed a $1 million seed funding round on Monday (April 25) with a $700,000 injection of fresh capital led by WIC Capital with participation from Loftyinc Capital, Afropreneur Angels, Haskè Ventures and other angel investors.

According to a company blog postthe money will be used to support Kwely’s marketing and distribution of the more than 200 SKUs it exclusively represents, the launch of its digital B2B wholesale platform, and the implementation and launch of its service delivery facility. ‘packaging.

Lead investor DNA Capital and UMA Ventures had participated in the first $250,000 tranche of Kwely’s funding round in July 2021.

“Kwely strives to connect the dots between local African producers, global consumers and international buyers,” said Birame N. Sock, founder and CEO of Kwely. “Our goal is to be the leading African B2B e-commerce platform that redefines the perception of African products and the way African buyers and sellers transact with each other and with the rest of the world.

“We have seen the impact of Alibaba on the informal industrial sector in China and believe there is an opportunity in economies that are still led by small businesses operating at the artisanal level, to make Africa a destination for ‘major supply for international buyers’.

Kwely works with countries across Africa, from brand development to packaging, to ensure their products are ready for export.

Last month, Kenyan B2B e-commerce startup Sokowatch announced it would change its name to Wasoko after a $125 million Series B fundraising that valued the company at $625 million.

Related: B2B e-commerce startup Sokowatch announces name change to Wasoko after $125m funding round

Founder and CEO Daniel Yu launched Sokowatch in Kenya in 2015 as an asset-light platform and marketplace for distributing fast-moving consumer goods to retailers. However, Yu said this model was unsustainable because the company could not guarantee delivery of goods once orders were placed.

Wasoko enables retailers in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ivory Coast and Senegal to order products from suppliers via SMS or on its mobile app, promising same-day delivery to their stores and boutiques facilitated by a network of drivers.

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