Wasoko has announced its expansion into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), leveraging its existing e-commerce hub in neighbouring Rwanda.
The platform enables retailers to order products anytime via SMS or mobile app and receive delivery through its proprietary logistics network to their store.
The startup has delivered over 2.5 million orders to over 50,000 informal retailers across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ivory Coast, and Senegal, and in March of last year, banked a US$125 million Series B round for further expansion.
Having expanded to Zambia earlier this year, its expansion into DRC forms the latest phase of its mission to drive robust growth for local businesses across Africa. Wasoko has expanded its market coverage to serve small businesses in Goma, the capital of DRC’s North Kivu province. This has been facilitated through access to special cross-border trade zones with the support of the Rwandan government as part of its wider drive to foster regional economic integration.
Through the initiative, Wasoko joins a select group of businesses enabling cross-border business to drive the integration of the DRC into the East African Community as its newest member country while supporting economic growth, job opportunities and sustainable development across the region.
Daniel Yu, founder and global CEO at Wasoko, said: “As one of Africa’s largest countries, the DRC presents a substantial market opportunity for Wasoko. Despite a rapidly growing population of nearly 100 million people with increasing purchasing power, the country’s significant infrastructural challenges have placed huge limitations on its e-commerce sector, which presents a vastly untapped opportunity.”
“However, through our cross-border logistical capabilities, established platform and extensive product range, we strongly believe we’re firmly positioned to fully unlock this potential and ultimately become the market leader in the DRC’s B2B e-commerce space. As we move ahead, we look forward to building crucial relationships with local, on-the-ground stakeholders and tailoring our traditional customer-centric approach to align with the unique needs of the Congolese population.”
Following Wasoko’s expansion to the DRC, the company plans to replicate this model across other African regions. This is part of its long-term vision to strengthen its pan-African presence, empower local businesses, and connect African consumers with diverse products and services.