5 African e-commerce startups to watch

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While still in its infancy, the e-commerce market across Africa is steadily growing, as consumers continent-wide look to the convenience of online shopping.  A number of forward-thinking startups are gaining traction across Africa, poised to cater to every whim and fancy of the increasing number of online shoppers. Here Disrupt Africa introduces five African e-commerce startups worth keeping an eye on.

DealDey

Nigeria has been tipped to become a major force in Africa’s e-commerce sector, with 89 per cent of the country’s internet users already shopping online or expecting to do so in the future, according to recent research.

One Nigerian e-commerce startup taking the market by storm is discount online shopping platform DealDey, which earlier this year raised US$5 million from Investment AB Kinnevik, with the plan to challenge heavyweights Jumia and Konga.  The startup says it has 1.5 million subscribers.

Promising to become “the strongest e-commerce site in Africa”, DealDey has plans to scale rapidly to all of Nigeria’s major cities, then to Ghana, and across the continent.

This month, the startup rolled out two new platforms; PromoHub – allowing merchants to offer promotional deals that can be redeemed at the merchant’s location; and LYF, a socially-driven business listings, reviews and transactional platform, which already has 20,000 businesses listed.

Supermart.ng

Supermart.ng is another strong contender for the Nigeria market, launched by founder Raphael Afaedor and Gbolahan Fagbure – both previously co-founders of Jumia Nigeria.

The platform allows customers to order over 60,000 grocery items online and get them delivered to their homes or offices within as little time as three hours.

Initially launched in the islands of Lagos, the startup has quickly expanded to cover the whole city, funded by Nigerian and international investors and charging a flat fee of NGN800 (US$4) for deliveries.

The co-founders recently told Disrupt Africa the key to running a successful online business is to remember the online sphere is governed by essentially the same rules as any other business; and founders should “not get carried away by […] the sexiness of the business”.

ParcelNinja

South African e-commerce startup ParcelNinja offers cloud-based warehousing and delivery solutions to online shops.

Founded in 2013, ParcelNinja launched its first commercial services in October last year.

In February, Disrupt Africa reported the startup raised ZAR20 million (US$1.7 million) in investment from C5 Holdings, to grow its operations and increase its client base.

Faithful to Nature

Also a South African startup, albeit more specialised, Faithful to Nature carries the largest inventory of authentic natural products in South Africa, including food, household products, kitchen appliances and cosmetics.

The startup saw 70 per cent year-on-year revenue growth over the last three years, and reported a significant net profit in the last financial year.

In July, Disrupt Africa reported Faithful to Nature secured ZAR10 million (US$800,000) in funding from local VC firm Silvertree Capital, to be used to accelerate the platform’s growth and reach customers through additional channels.

Dot Com Zambia

Representing Zambia’s tech startup scene on today’s list is Dot Com Zambia, which caters to customers who want to shop online for international products that are difficult to find in Zambian stores.

The startup has also launched to subsidiaries, e-commerce store Import Zambia, and Book Now Zambia, which includes the Bus Tickets Zambia brand – recently named 2015 New Venture Winner at the 17th Annual Africa Business Conference.

Earlier this month Disrupt Africa reported Dot Com Zambia secured US$500,000 in investment from Zambian venture capital investor Kukula Capital and eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund), to allow the company to begin its regional expansion across Southern Africa; and also to drive the rollout of its Bus Tickets Zambia platform.

About Author

Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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