Wasoko Expands To Zambia
The Kenyan retail-tech startup provides free same-day delivery of essential goods and financing to informal retail stores across Africa.
Wasoko, which leverages innovative technology to transform the informal retail supply chain, has expanded into Zambia, the company’s first location in Southern Africa. The platform enables retailers to order products anytime via SMS or mobile app and receive delivery to their stores through its proprietary logistics network.
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.
It has now announced its expansion into Zambia, its first location in Southern Africa. Wasoko will invest over US$1 million in its first year of operations to support local Zambian businesses and communities to get more essential goods for less through e-commerce.
Launching its central hub in Lusaka, Wasoko’s operations will enable small retailers across the city to access an affordable range of products for same-day delivery and working capital financing solely through the convenience of a mobile app. The formation of Lusaka as a central hub is also part of Wasoko’s company-wide pivot to a hub and spoke logistics network to drive more substantial operational efficiency and significantly boost its capacity for faster regional expansions.
Daniel Yu, founder, and global CEO at Wasoko, said: “As we drive ahead with the next phase of our growth journey, it’s vital that the operating environments of our future markets are conducive to our ambitions, and Zambia provides exactly this. With high smartphone usage and a pro-business government administration keen on expanding the country’s digital economy, Zambia is an ideal environment to launch our model. It strongly aligns with our current core markets, both in terms of similar regulatory practices and a supplier base that is intertwined with East Africa.”
“With this in mind, we’re confident that our new launch will not only play a huge role in accelerating our existing progress across the continent but also significantly strengthen the purchasing power of everyday citizens in Zambia and enhance their livelihoods.”
In addition to its latest expansion, Wasoko will be doubling its service radius across all its existing locations in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda, where it has amassed a network of over 200,000 informal retailers and delivered over 5 million orders to date.