South African fintech startup Nomanini is expanding its recently-launched supply chain finance solution StockNow to eight new African markets via a strategic partnership with financial services provider Baobab Group.
Founded in 2010, Nomanini has developed a platform that enables informal merchants and micro-entrepreneurs in emerging markets to distribute digital goods such as airtime and prepaid electricity.
The startup, which also offers micro-loans to merchants and operates in markets such as Ghana and Mozambique, raised a US$4 million funding round led by Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank, and completed by Goodwell Investments, an Amsterdam-based investment firm, in 2019. It also banked funding worth US$1.5 million in 2021.
Disrupt Africa reported last month on Nomanini’s launch of StockNow, which connects FMCGs and financial service providers to serve Africa’s informal retailers at scale. The easy-to-use app makes it possible for informal micro and small retailers to purchase stock digitally.
The startup has now agreed a strategic partnership with Baobab, a financial services group that, via its subsidiaries, provides financial services to half a million micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses. The company has operations in eight African countries, to which Nomanini will now, over time, expand StockNow. They are Senegal, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Madagascar.
In its first project with Baobab Group, Nomanini will launch StockNow in the DRC, while across the other seven markets, over the next five years, the partnership has set the goal to reach a total merchant base of 820,000 micro, small and medium retailers who sell a large number of the fast-moving consumer goods but face a number of challenges like access to responsible capital that make it hard for their businesses to grow.
“Nomanini continues to identify innovative approaches to partnerships that enable us to stay at the forefront of connecting retailers to digital financial services to improve their businesses,” said CEO Vahid Monadjem.
“The Nomanini and Baobab Group partnership is a powerful combination. It strategically aligns both companies to create services that deliver the best value to retailers. Our understanding of Africa’s general trade sector is uniquely complementary to Baobab Group’s mission to make financial services more accessible, affordable, inclusive and transparent, and supports our intention to expand more quickly into markets in Africa that will benefit from inclusive finance. We believe this partnership will create compelling and sustainable value for the evolving needs of Africa’s general trade sector.”