Betastore, a marketplace for informal retail businesses, has raised $2.5million to help West and Central African informal shops deal with stockouts, financing, and other issues.
Betastore marketplace removes the need for sales middlemen and allows informal traders access fast-moving consumer products (FMCG) directly through manufacturers or distributors. This makes it cost-competitive. It works with logistical partners to ensure that things arrive within 24 hours.
After raising $2.5million in pre-series financing, the Nigerian company wants to expand beyond its three existing markets by the end of 2013, including Ghana, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
500 Global, VestedWorld, Loyal VC and Loyal VC are all investors. Betastore has raised $3 million to date.
Betastore CEO Steve Dakayi-Kamga, who co-founded the company with Leo-Armel Tchoudjang in mid-2020, stated that the startup’s ability to scale by using its asset-light strategy is critical.
Its goal for the year is to reach 100 cities in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal. Betastore plans to expand its leadership and technical teams as well as create new products and improve existing ones.
Betastore’s asset-light business implies it doesn’t have any capital or labor-intensive assets like warehouses or its own delivery fleet.
According to Dakayi Kamga this has allowed the business to optimize its technology in order for merchants to acquire goods at the closest distributors. Betastore is used by 4.4 retailers per month.
Following a trial program with 200 retailers, the B2B platform for e-commerce will be funded in July.
Tchoudjang said that the BNPL financing plan would focus on retail sales. This will assist them in increasing the value of their shopping carts and their businesses. According to the startup, interest will be charged based upon product margins.
Betastore is currently integrating their technology into a network fintech and bank finance partners. Retailers use Betastore to pay back debts, deposit funds, transmit, receive, save, and fund operations.
The company claims that it has increased its customer base by tenfold and its income twelvefold since its inception.
As it penetrates the $380 billion retail sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa, which contributes 20-50 percent of the region’s GDP on average, the business forecasts a significant increase, particularly after accessing more countries and pushing out its buy now pay later (BNPL) offering.
Today’s retailers are expected to operate with quickness, agility, and effectiveness. Retailers seize every opportunity to do this.
Technology and platforms such as Betastore have made it possible for retailers to no longer close their shops to source merchandise.
These platforms don’t just save retailers money and help them plan better. They’ve evolved into critical platforms that can give shops a competitive advantage in the market, allowing them to prosper and develop.
Betastore views the merchant as an agent who makes access to goods easier. It wants to make it easier both for merchants, and end-users, to get goods and services.
According to Dakayi Kamga, Betastore technology allows shops to place orders on-demand, have access to a wide variety of products, and solve logistical problems.
They don’t have to shut their stores to go obtain goods from distributors or the market, and they don’t have to lose nearly half of their margins in logistics with Betastore.