MarketForce is a YC-Backed Company That Has Raised One of the Largest Series A Rounds in Africa, from Leading International and Local Investor Names
MarketForce Growth Story Has Been Endorsed by 20+ Venture Capital Firms Since Launch and Is Currently a leading B2B MarketPlace in Sub-Saharan Africa; including some of the leading international names such as Y-combinator, SOSV and Google, with the company having one of the largest Series A round on the continent.
MarketForce is Solving the Issue of a Fragmented Retail Environment as Well as Lack of Access to Credit for MSMEs in the African Ecosystem
In emerging markets, neighbourhood merchants usually serve as the first point of interaction between consumer brands and their customers. These merchant shops are everywhere, offering everything from snacks to complex financial services to everyday consumers. These merchant channels account for over 90% of retail transactions in the African continent, with most transactions being low value, cash-based, and happening in person.
MarketForce Provides a Unified B2B Marketplace for Merchants, Brands, and Digital Financial Services to Engage in The Digital Economy
Supplying these merchants with goods and services to meet their business needs is often complicated due to inadequate local infrastructure, lack of information, fluctuating demand, and import tariffs and restrictions. As a result, retailers need help with access to stock and working capital, which limits their ability to grow. Traditional retail is constrained to a few shopping malls in urban areas in most countries.
In 2050, there will be two billion people in the African continent; the shopping habits will continue to lean heavily towards small merchants and technology will thread between manufacturers, service providers, financial products, facing the consumers through the merchant. As the continent continues to grow and become more sophisticated, using technology to serve merchants creates an opportunity to build Africa’s largest tech giant.
MarketForce is the Super App That Already Empowers 200,000 Merchants in Africa to Access Inventory and Digital Financial Services, Among Others
Through our Super App, we empower merchants with layers of digital commerce, financial and banking services, outfitting them with the technology they need to transform themselves from simple FMCG outlets to comprehensive financial service hubs for the continent’s last-mile communities.
We enable informal African merchants to source, order and pay for inventory digitally and conveniently, access financing, collect digital payments, and make extra money by reselling digital financial services such as airtime, electricity tokens, and bill payments.
MarketForce Aims to Become the Ultimate Financial Partner For 10 million Merchants in Africa
Marketforce is building an ecosystem, an end-to-end marketplace, rather than just a platform. All the players use our products: Financial Service Providers, Manufacturers, Distributors, Merchants, and Sales Agents. This gives us the unique ability to distribute physical products and essential services through our network of merchants with a focus on becoming the ultimate financial partner for merchants in Africa.
MarketForce will achieve this via the development and expansion of two core services: interoperable wallet / payments and financial services. This is inclusive of buy now, pay later, savings/accounts, asset financing, float for financial transactions, and insurance Across the continent, these services have a market size more than $500B.
MarketForce currently offers a wallet solution that enables merchants to accept and make payments. Digital payments are often cost-prohibitive, slowing growth of their use. The future of e-wallets will require interoperability with the growing number of wallet providers across the continent to enable seamless and affordable payments. MarketForce is building the capabilities to meet this emerging opportunity by enabling merchants and their customers to transfer funds across wallets, bank accounts, and other fintech solutions.
Built on a basis of trust from offering dependable and affordable FMCG goods, MarketForce will layer on value-added financial services, supporting the financial success of our merchants and increasing stickiness and loyalty.
MarketForce is A Leading Digital Ecommerce Player in Sub-Saharan Africa with Presence in 5 Countries and 21 Cities, Servicing 1 million Merchants by 2025
Since launching in 2018, we have experienced explosive growth – growing gross merchandize value by nine times to $128M between 2021 and 2022 alone. Driven by our core ecommerce operation the revenue grew from $140K in 2021 to $2.5M in 2022, achieving positive gross margins across all our operations in Q1 2023, and with a clear path to profitability.
MarketForce has built an incredible growth engine with a core strategy centred around tier-2 city geographic growth. Their proven ability to penetrate means that beyond ten cities in Kenya, MarketForce has expanded to five countries in just 2 years, four more countries in the pipeline, creating the largest B2B distribution footprint in seven countries with a combined population of five hundred million people across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Award Winning, Mission Driven and Inclusive Leaders, MarketForce Founders are Third Time Entrepreneurs with a Previous Exit Record
Market Force’s founders are mission-driven and represent the next generation of self-made entrepreneurs in Africa. Some of their notable achievements include being featured in Forbes Africa 30 under thirty, Africa Business Heroes, Top 40 under 40 Men Kenya, Inclusive Fintech 50 (IF50), and participation in Google Launchpad and Y-combinator (S20).
MarketForce has over the years, created an environment that attracts top global talent, seeding the team with world-class operators, strategists, and advisors who understand the nuances of creating a big pan African Giant. The leadership team brings good expertise in launching and scaling products in Africa including a successful exit: Cloud9, the co-founder’s previous startup, was acquired by Hotel Online after seeing significant growth and adoption in Kenya and becoming the go-to resource for adventure seekers in Africa.
MarketForce Is a Pioneer in Environmental, Social and Governance Practices and Has Created 500+ Jobs and Increased Merchant Income by 18%
MarketForce is a commercial business that organically produces ESG impact and is building a “vehicle” for additional sustainable impact at scale for all stakeholders. For example, our merchants have recorded an 18% income increase from selling digital financial services such as insurance in their communities. This helps them make more money in their business than ever before while improving the lives of those around them. Over 55% of our merchants are women, and we have reported a 24% increase in merchant basket size from inventory financing (BNPL) loans.
Data from Briter show that 28 African startups offering B2B commerce as a product have collectively raised over $470 million in funding since 2008, with 90% of this amount raised between 2021 and 2022 alone. MarketForce is addressing a critical need in Africa and has an innovative approach to disrupting the market. With a strong network of merchants, continued rapid growth, and a talented management team. MarketForce has the potential to impact this sector in Africa and beyond significantly.
Why Are We Raising A Small Community Round?
Since launch, one of the most popular requests we have received is the ability for retail investors to invest in MarketForce. So, we are launching this small community funding round with a maximum raise of $1,000,000 so that our community, including partners and customers, can invest in the company and become part owners early in our journey. We kept the terms of this small community round the same as our Series A round from a year ago, despite having seen strong growth since then. Given the small community round size, we cannot guarantee that everybody will receive their desired investment amount.
What Investors Are Saying About MarketForce
"At the intersection of e-commerce and digital financial services, MarketForce is the future of retail, with its technology offering merchants procurement options, digital payments, working capital financing, and BNPL targeting 1 million African merchants (MSMEs) by 2025. Led by a visionary and entrepreneurial team, MarketForce has the ability to execute and scale as the leading B2B marketplace leader in Africa due to its asset-light business model which has a scalable unit economic model and has shown hypergrowth, including achieving $300M in transactions processed since launch."
Andreea Danila, General Partner - Global Millennial Capital
“MarketForce demonstrates what we see as a triple threat with regards to returns. A strong executive team with an amazing track record, an expansive untapped market of informal retailers across the continent and a business model that scales extremely quickly.”
Tobi Oke, Managing Partner, V8 Capital Partner
“MarketForce has proven that they know how to leverage the entire retail supply chain as a gateway for digital payments. Their organic, as well as acquisition-driven growth and expansion strategy thus far, has proven that their understanding of unit economics and marginal customer acquisition costs is solid. As a pan-African fintech company, they are very well positioned to tap into the $700 billion that gets transacted in this space every year,”
Zachariah George, Managing Partner, Launch Africa
“Africa shares a lot of similarities with Asia’s mobile-first markets such as India, Southeast Asia, and China, where I have been investing for two decades. The availability of low-cost smartphones, easy access to the internet, and ubiquitous digital payment make these ecosystems fertile grounds for breakthrough internet companies like MarketForce.”
William Bao Bean, General Partner - SOSV