Kenyan retail-tech startup Cartnshop raises $400k to boost commercialisation

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Kenyan startup Cartnshop, which enables African SMES to set up online stores quickly and affordably, has raised US$400,000 in funding as it prepares to commercialise next month.

Founded in 2018, Cartnshop is an end-to-end e-store enabler engine that allows any retail or enterprise business to attract new customers. The startup has B2B and B2C channels, incorporating payment gateways, delivery and fulfillment centres, marketing and marketplace cross-listings and business management capabilities.

“The Cartnshop ecosystem brings stakeholders including manufacturers, suppliers and distributors, service providers and e-commerce enablers into the channels, enabling a complete model of B2B2C,” said founder and CEO Joe Wambugu.

The startup released engine one in late 2019, and onboarded 50 merchants. After proving the concept and gathering feedback, it released engine two with over 300 merchants. It went into a market proof of concept with Safaricom and EABL in 2020, gathering enough feedback from the market to launch engine three, which is now ready to go live and can accommodate over one million merchants.

The rollout will be funded by a US$400,000 raised this month from various business angels. Cartnshop has released its platform to some shops in Botswana and Tanzania, but Wambugu said its primary focus was on Kenya.

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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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