Kenyan retail-tech startup MarketForce raises $350k seed funding round

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Kenyan retail-tech startup MarketForce has raised US$350,000 in seed funding to help it build upon its existing momentum and enhance its product to unlock new revenue streams.

The investment, which comes from the ViKtoria Business Angels Network (VBAN), has been made into Mesozi, the tech holding company founded by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti that also counts experiences marketplace Cloud9xp amongst its stable.

It is reserved for MarketForce, however, which was launched in 2018 and enables consumer brands to optimise how they deliver essential goods and services to retailers and consumers by bridging the information gap in last mile distribution, while maximising efficiency across the sales and distribution value chain. 

MarketForce leverages mobile devices by enabling field agents to record all customer interactions as they happen in the field, and then aggregates this data and presents it through live web dashboards.

The startup said it had seen good momentum of late and would use the seed funding to build out its product to unlock new revenue streams while expanding its team’s capacity across East Africa. 

“2020 has been an incredibly important year for us. After two bootstrapped years of R&D, building the product, and testing across various industries, we are ready to take in external capital,” said Mbaabu.

“Initial customers love our product, so we are ready to aggressively grow our customer base as we make an impact in the expansive African retail and distribution economy. We are focused on supporting our clients to sell more during this difficult time and plan to raise additional capital within the year to support our growth efforts.” 

Jason Musyoka, manager at VBAN, said he believed the highly fragmented African retail and distribution value chain was primed for disruption. 

“The analytics from such platforms will be instrumental in distribution optimization hence bringing goods to as close as possible to the highly-expectant, globally-aware African consumer market. The team at Mesozi has proven to be capable of delivering the product and eager to exploit the opportunities the sector presents,” he 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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