Kenyan e-commerce startup, Copia Global, has successfully raised $20 million in a Series C extension round, further strengthening its position in the market. This latest investment comes from notable investors, including Pan-African VC firm Enza Capital, Goodwell Investments, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, DEG (German development finance institution), Elea, Perivoli Foundation, and Sorenson Foundation.

Founded in 2013 by Tracey Turner and Jonathan Lewis, Copia Global focuses on serving middle and low-income Africans in Kenya and Uganda. The company raised $50 million in a Series C equity round led by Goodwell Investments last year, bringing the total funding to approximately $120 million.

Strategic Vision for Profitability

The recent funding infusion is expected to play a crucial role in realizing Copia Global’s vision of profitability. The company aims to enhance its operations, streamline processes, and leverage its unique e-commerce model tailored to the specific requirements of the African market.

Els Boerhof, Managing Partner at Goodwell Investments, commented on Copia’s e-commerce model, stating, “Copia’s e-commerce model is built for the unique requirements of the African market and will save many Africans a lot of time and money. We see it as one of the next big leapfrogging technologies; just like mobile phones leapfrogged landlines and solar power leapfrogged the grid, Copia is leapfrogging retail.”

Copia’s Impact and Operations

As of February 2023, Copia Global has fulfilled over 13 million orders in Kenya and Uganda through a network of over 43,000 agents. However, in April 2023, Copia made the strategic decision to cease operations in Uganda due to economic challenges and, instead, focus on consolidating its presence in the Kenyan market. This shift also resulted in a 25% reduction in the workforce in Kenya.

Founder and Chair of Copia, Tracey Turner, explained the rationale behind this move, stating, “Without the capital to get it to profitability, it made sense to hold off there. Then, we looked at the Kenyan operation and knew we had to streamline Kenya as well.”

Digital Transformation and Future Plans

Copia Global is adapting to the changing landscape by placing a stronger emphasis on its digital relationship with customers. The acceleration of digital adoption among customers has prompted Copia to reshape its operations, focusing on delivering a seamless digital experience.

While Copia is currently centered on operations within Kenya, it maintains aspirations for Pan-African expansions. The company is eyeing an ambitious goal of surpassing $60 million in annual revenue by the end of the year.

John Lazar, former CEO of Metaswitch, a Microsoft subsidiary, has been appointed to Copia’s board. Lazar expressed optimism about the current landscape, stating, “E-commerce companies are facing some difficulties at the moment, but the kind of push towards digitization feels like an inflection point for us and it just changes the game on unit economics and efficiencies.”

Strategic Partnership with Visa

Copia Global recently inked a five-year partnership with Visa to provide digital financial services to middle to low-income consumers in Kenya. The collaboration includes the creation of a digital wallet, combining shopping and financial services into a user-friendly platform.

Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa Kenya Country Manager, highlighted the significance of the partnership, stating, “Copia’s e-commerce platform provides the perfect springboard for Visa to bring financial services to the mass market.”

As Copia Global continues to navigate the dynamic e-commerce landscape in Africa, the recent funding, strategic partnerships, and digital transformation efforts position the company for sustained growth and impact in the region. The collaboration with Visa and ongoing initiatives reflect Copia’s commitment to addressing the evolving needs of consumers while driving financial inclusion in the digital era.

By Admin

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