Nigerian startup TradPeek has an ambitious goal – to be to Africa what Alibaba is to China.
An online marketplace for products made or manufactured by Africans, TradPeek aims to celebrate and promote Africans’ skills and innovations, changing the trajectory of Africa being a consuming continent and instead promoting exports.
“The company seeks to establish a central platform that allows the global access to products and crafts out of Africa. You can mildly compare to what Alibaba is to entrepreneurs in China and across Asian market,” TradPeek co-founder Kehinde Oseni told Disrupt Africa.
Launched in September of last year, Oseni has been focused of late on establishing logistic partnerships, but already has over 40 vendors using the platform. It charges a 20 per cent commission on products sold via TradPeek, as well as a US$10 monthly service fee.
Oseni said Alibaba was definitely his inspiration.
“I happened to visit China pretty often until last year and I have seen first hand the transformation and empowerment Alibaba has given to an average manufacturer and retailer,” he said. “They now have a platform to connect them to the world without leaving their small stores in Foshan, Guangzhou or Beijing.”
He said African ingenuity and creativity has not been given exposure they deserved, with so much being produced on the continent that would be appreciated by the outside world.
“We believe it is time to promote Africa and celebrate her entrepreneurs, especially those in the remote areas seeking a platform to showcase their skills and crafts to the world,” said Oseni.
“TradPeeks seek to provide that platform with the edge of a hassle-free delivery strategy. We have partnerships with EMS in two countries, and more to come,” he said.
The self-funded startup is currently seeking an investor that can offer both financial and strategic support to help TradPeek establish a presence in every African country. Already active in Nigeria, it will shortly be opening a drop-off centre in the Ghanaian capital of Accra.