Ghanaian e-commerce startup Tendo launches in Nigeria with heavyweight backing

Ghanaian startup Tendo, which permits anybody to promote on-line with zero upfront stock, has launched in Nigeria after securing the backing of heavyweights resembling Catalyst Fund, Google and Y Combinator.

Launched final yr, Tendo has developed a cell app that connects dropshippers to native wholesalers. Sellers on the platform are in a position to supply merchandise and resell objects utilizing social commerce instruments resembling WhatsApp, organize supply, and receives a commission, all by means of the Tendo app.

“In the intervening time, individuals who need to promote on-line want to economize, go to a whole bunch of suppliers to discover a trusted one, and danger shedding their capital by stocking up stock. Past this, they should incur prices for logistics and warehousing. We get rid of all that,” Felix Manford, the startup’s co-founder and CEO, informed Disrupt Africa.

The startup is already working with hundreds of retailers in Ghana, and it has now additionally opened its doorways in Nigeria. This has been achieved with funding from the likes of the Google Black Founders’ Fund, LoftyInc Capital Administration, and Plug and Play Ventures, whereas Tendo has additionally just lately taken half within the Y Combinator W22 accelerator and Catalyst Fund’s inclusive digital commerce programme.

All of this success stems from a pivot. Manford and the Tendo group initially constructed an influencer advertising platform known as Hashfyre to assist younger social media customers earn an revenue by partnering with manufacturers on micro-influencer campaigns. 

“As we constructed our group we realised most of our customers had extra curiosity in beginning a enterprise however struggled to lift preliminary capital. We additionally discovered that social media had turn out to be the popular purchasing channel for a lot of customers in Africa – an estimated 32 per cent of all e-commerce in Africa was taking place on Fb,” Manford stated.

“We initially launched Tendo and distributed merchandise by means of WhatsApp teams. We additionally used spreadsheets to handle and observe orders.”

Not anymore, with Tendo on a robust development trajectory, tackling the shortage of belief amongst African customers in the case of purchasing on-line.

“Customers right here belief folks they know, not manufacturers – and so they make buy choices based mostly on this. This social expertise is nonetheless lacking on many conventional e-commerce platforms in Africa,” stated Manford. 

“To deal with that deficit Tendo leverages on social networks of people and the platform leans in on the present client conduct. Tendo is shaping digital commerce in Africa by placing promoting energy within the arms of on a regular basis customers. Anybody can turn out to be an entrepreneur.”

Tendo runs a market mannequin, taking a proportion of every order processed on the platform. Suppliers can even pay for advert placements on the app to spice up the visibility of their merchandise. Manford stated revenues have been steadily rising, with the prime problem confronted by the startup being providing inexpensive and dependable last-mile supply.

“Nonetheless, over the previous months, we’ve been in a position to refine our course of and safe higher partnerships which have supplied us with vital price financial savings which our sellers have benefited from,” he stated.

Now, then, to deal with Nigeria, with new nation supervisor Chisom Ukaegu explaining the dimensions of the chance Tendo was seeking to seize there.

“With the younger demographics making up greater than one-third of Nigeria’s rising inhabitants, Tendo’s entry into Nigeria is the logical subsequent step as we work in direction of constructing the biggest reselling platform in Africa. Our major focus right here is to construct the biggest community of resellers, or Tendo retailers as we wish to name them, and equipping them with the assets and assist wanted to develop and handle their enterprise,” Ukaegu stated.

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