Kenya’s Sokowatch hits 1,000 retailer mark in Tanzania

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Kenyan startup Sokowatch, an ordering and delivery network for small shops, has reached 1,000 retailers in its second market of Tanzania within three months of launching.

Launched in 2013, Sokowatch supplies over 5,000 shops across Nairobi with goods from eight different multinational companies, increasing the availability of everyday consumer goods by allowing small shops to place orders at any time via SMS.

These orders are then processed through Sokowatch’s system to notify nearby delivery agents, who then deliver the requested orders to shops within 24 hours.

Disrupt Africa reported last month Sokowatch – which was recently named a winner of the Innotribe Startup Challenge – was in the process of expanding across East Africa, having made Dar es Salaam, Tanzania its second market in February.

The startup has now reported rapid growth in the city, with over 1,000 small retailers supplied within three months of launching.

“We’ve been excited to demonstrate the potential and replicability of Sokowatch’s model to address supply chain gaps across urban East Africa, and we’ve found the barriers faced by Dar es Salaam shopkeepers in ensuring product availability to be even greater than those in Nairobi,” said chief executive officer (CEO) Daniel Yu.

“Sokowatch’s focus on supplying everyday goods to slums and informal communities, where over 70 per cent of Dar es Salaam’s residents currently live, aligns with the market’s booming population as the sixth fastest growing city in the world.”

In further news, Sokowatch announced it will now move on to the next phase of its partnership with multinational consumer goods company Unilever, having launched a pilot last October to help supply Unilever products to small shops across Nairobi.

The next phase of the engagement will more than double coverage of retailers in Nairobi over the next year.

“We are also looking forward to collaborating with Unilever’s teams across new markets in East Africa as we expand throughout the region,” Yu said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent’s most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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