Wasoko, an African B2B e-commerce company, opened its initial office in Zambia and has since expanded its reach throughout Southern Africa. In its first year of operation, Wasoko expects to invest more than $1 million, with the first investment going toward establishing a hub in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia.
The company was founded by a Californian businessman, Daniel Yu, with the intention of consolidating its activities in Lusaka before regionally expanding in Southern Africa.
This action is a component of Wasoko’s new strategy to distribute items from wholesalers to shops directly rather than merely acting as a software platform to link the two.
Wasoko, formerly Sokowatch, launched in Kenya in 2014 and currently provides services to shops in Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal.
The company’s $125 million Series B fundraising round, which was the largest venture financing round ever received for a retail firm in Africa, was secured in March 2022. This fund has make it possible for the firm to expand beyond the East African market to a pan-African business. After the March financing, its estimated value was $625 million.
Yu said that Zambia is an ideal place to launch its model due to its increased smartphone adoption and a pro-business government administration that is eager to grow the nation’s digital economy. This is in addition to the fact that the nation aligns with the company’s core markets in terms of regulatory practices and a supplier base that is entwined in East Africa.
However, there are a lot of minor competitors in the Southern African nation’s e-commerce industry, including the last-mile delivery platform Orderbetta.
Wasoko’s mobile app enables store owners to buy items from producers and distributors at reasonable pricing based on supply and demand. With this, store owners can obtain real-time monitoring information on sales, business insights, and market trends.
Wasoko also affirmed that it would be tripling its service area throughout all of its current sites in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. More than 200,000 independent shops have joined the company’s network, and more than 5 million orders have been fulfilled thus far.