Kenyan sales force automation startup Optimetriks secures $330k debt financing

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Kenyan sales force automation startup Optimetriks has secured EUR300,000 (US$330,000) in debt financing from French commercial banks as it bids to grow its customer base and add new features.

Founded in 2016, Optimetriks has developed a sales force automation platform that helps consumer goods companies and distributors digitise their workflows and operations. 

“Typical use cases are route management, defining where the sales representatives need to pass, checking on visits and productivity, providing guidance and background information on the retailers they engage with, outlet management, checking on stock levels, and things like that,” said Paul Langlois-Meurinne, the startup’s co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO).

Optimetriks currently serves more than 25 companies across 16 countries in Africa, with its clients operating in sectors such as beauty, telecommunications, food, and professional services. Last month, it took on EUR300,000 (US$335,000) in debt financing from commercial banks in France to fund its growth, with Langlois-Meurinne saying this will go towards product development.

The startup, which also received grant funding from the GSMA in 2017 and took part in the Francophone Africa-focused L’Afrique Excelle accelerator programme earlier this year, has been bootstrapped until now, but could also take on Series A investment soon.

“As our company has matured, and based on our existing traction, we are now considering fundraising in the coming months, to benefit from strategic investors, knowledge of East Africa, and consumer goods distribution,” said Langlois-Meurinne.

Optimetriks, which makes money from licence and service fees, was launched in a bid to solve key problems in African distribution. 

“First, the lack of reliable market information and the costs and limitations that exist when trying to collect and analyse data at a large scale,” Langlois-Meurinne said. 

“Second, the fact that there are information asymmetries and sometimes misaligned interests between the actors of the ecosystem. Finally, the fact that middlemen take unnecessary margins at the expense of retailers, and distort the value chain.”

The Optimetriks platform aims to bring more transparency and visibility to the distribution space, and help companies better understand how their resources are being employed.

“We help our clients implement scientific distribution that is data-driven, where every action is logged in the system, and can be tracked. Our clients access our platform either through the mobile app for the field users, or the web app, for office users who need to navigate in the reporting dashboards and configure the deployment.,” said Langlois-Meurinne.

“Our ambition is to be the reference platform that connects directly and on a daily basis consumer goods brands with the millions of African retailers that distribute their products on several key dimensions.”

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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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