KENYA – Mobile e-commerce platform Copia Global has raised US$26 million in a Series B funding led by LGT Lightstone alongside Goodwell Investment, Perivoli Innovations, Endeavor Catalyst, and ELEA, reports Techweez.
The platform started operations in Kenya in 2013 and started its trade to serve unbanked and low-income African consumers.
The company takes advantage of mobile technologies and logistics to sell its trade and says it has managed to penetrate remote markets that other e-commerce sites have been unable to get access to.
Copia has a robust network of 5000 agents and small shopkeepers who serve as across Kenya and earn commissions by serving as points of aggregation of orders and delivery distribution. This model has allowed the firm to offer serves for customers using online or offline means.
Essentially, rather than make purchases online via a website or consumer-facing mobile app, Copia customers walk into stores of partnered agents who place orders on their behalf, take payments and serve as delivery points.
Beyond the strategic benefit of solving postal address problems associated with deliveries in some African cities and rural areas, these agents also serve another purpose
So far, Copia says it has attended to more than 3 million orders and delivers in under two days.
“While mobile technology underpins all we do, it is Copia’s relentless focus on building trust through reliable delivery, quality products, low prices and uncompromising customer service that has enabled the Company to succeed in a market that many perceive as impossible to serve,” said Tracey Turner, Founder and Chair of Copia Global.
Shakir Merali, Partner at LGT Lightstone, said; “Copia’s m-commerce model is the next big African leapfrogging technology; just like mobile phones leapfrogged landlines and solar power leapfrogged the grid, Copia is leapfrogging retail. LGT Lightstone believes Copia’s m-commerce model is the way to reach a huge untapped market that others cannot serve.”
Alongside the development, Copia has announced the appointment of two new Board members, Isaac Awuondo and Betty Mwangi.
Isaac was previously posted at CBA as the lender’s Managing Director and serves as the Chairman of the newly minted NCBA Bank PLC.
Betty worked at Safaricom and was part of the team that introduced critical innovations in the carrier’s mobile money product, M-PESA.
Betty’s experience with the operator will reportedly be tapped to see Copia expand the scope of its agency network.