Kenyan startup Sokowatch, a mobile-based ordering and delivery network for small shops, has received strategic investment from Chandaria Industries to help its continued expansion across East Africa.
Launched in 2013, Sokowatch supplies thousands of shops with goods from 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.
The startup – which was recently selected to take part in the World Bank’s XL Africa accelerator programme – made Tanzania its second market in February, and now plans to speed up that expansion with the undisclosed amount of funding from Chandaria Industries, the largest tissue and hygiene products manufacturer in East and Central Africa.
Chandaria Industries began working with Sokowatch as a corporate client in 2016, and the two parties identified an opportunity to further their partnership through this strategic investment.
“Chandaria Industries is one of the leading consumer goods companies on the African continent, and their leadership team with local roots is the perfect partner for Sokowatch to work with as we continue to scale across the region,” said Sokowatch chief executive officer (CEO) Daniel Yu.
“Sokowatch has huge potential for scale and is a great strategic fit for Chandaria Industries,” said Chandaria Group CEO Darshan Chandaria.
The investment was facilitated by Chandaria Capital, the new venture capital entity created by Darshan and Neer Chandaria earlier this year for the Chandaria Group, which has already invested in the likes of Bamba Group, Cloud9 and ZUMI.