Kenyan start-up MarketForce lands $40m Series A funding
Kenyan B2B retail distribution platform MarketForce has raised $40 million in a Series A round.
The oversubscribed round was led by Africa-focused investment vehicle V8 Capital Partners and saw participation from new investors Ten13 VC, SOSV Select Fund, Vu Ventures, Vastly Valuable Ventures and Uncovered Fund.
Existing investors include Reflect Ventures, Greenhouse Capital, Century Oak Capital and Remapped Ventures. The round was made up of equity and debt.
Co-founded in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti, MarketForce allows micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to order, pay and receive inventory digitally, access financing and collect digital payments.
The company says approximately 90% of household retail transactions in sub-Saharan Africa are in cash. Billing itself as a “super-app for Africa’s informal merchants”, MarketForce says it aims to digitise a large portion of these offline transactions.
With this latest round of funding, MarketForce plans to introduce a buy now, pay later (BNPL) offering, provide more digital financial and banking services through its merchant network and expand its presence in its existing markets of Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
MarketForce currently has a workforce of 400 staff, which it intends to double before the end of the year.
CEO Tesh Mbaabu says: “We are targeting to serve over 1 million active merchants on our platform in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025.”