Kenya’s Copia Global raises $50m Series C to ramp up African expansion

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Kenyan B2C e-commerce platform Copia Global has raised US$50 million in a Series C equity round to help it ramp up its African expansion efforts.

Launched in 2013, Copia combines technology and a network of local agents to offer a broad product offering and efficient, reliable delivery to “base of the pyramid” consumers. Its service enables rural households to access goods that would otherwise be difficult to obtain without travelling to a major city. 

To date, the company has fulfilled more than 10 million orders, and it expanded into Uganda last year. Further African expansion is now planned after its US$50 million Series C, which was led by Goodwell Investments and also features previous investors Lightrock, the German development finance institution DEG, and Perivoli Innovations, as well as new investors Zebu Investment Partners, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Koa Labs. 

Copia will use the capital to grow its proven model across East Africa and to expand into other African countries, extending its service to millions of Africa’s underserved consumers.  

The company has built a network of more than 25,000 agents, small shopkeepers who serve as order and delivery points, across Kenya and Uganda. This allows customers to choose how they interact with Copia – online or offline. 

Operating its own technology-enabled logistics service, Copia can deliver to the most remote locations, even in places with poor road infrastructure or lack of addresses, at no additional cost to the customer. Urban and diaspora-based consumers can also use the service to shop for loved ones back home.

“While mobile technology underpins all we do, it is Copia’s relentless focus on building trust – by providing low prices, quality products, reliable delivery, and uncompromising customer service – that has enabled Copia to succeed in a market that many perceived impossible,” said Tim Steel, CEO of Copia Global.

“Copia broadens access to affordable household goods for families, regardless of their income level, access to technology or location. This fits perfectly with Goodwell Investments’ strategy to support businesses that provide unserved or underserved groups in Africa access to affordable essential goods and services,” said Els Boerhof, managing partner at Goodwell  Investments.  

“People in rural areas in Africa typically travel to the nearest city to buy essential goods such  as building materials or medicine, which is costly and time-intensive – on average rural Kenyans, for example, spend over an hour and US$4 per commute. Copia’s e-commerce model is built for the unique requirements of the African market and will save many Africans a lot of time and money. We see it as one of the next big leapfrogging technologies; just like mobile phones leapfrogged landlines and solar power leapfrogged the grid, Copia is leapfrogging retail. We are delighted to continue to support Copia by leading their Series C round.”

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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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