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Home Startups Kenya’s Copia Global raises $26m to launch into other African countries

Kenya’s Copia Global raises $26m to launch into other African countries

by Val Lukhanyu
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Copia Global has raised $26 million in a Series B equity round led by LGT Lightstone, with participation from Goodwell Investments, Perivoli Innovations, Endeavor Catalyst and ELEA.

Copia will use the Series B capital to grow its proven model across Kenya and into other African countries, providing service to Africa’s rapidly growing middle markets.

According to Tracey Turner, Founder and Chair of Copia Global: “While mobile technology underpins all we do, it is Copia’s relentless focus on building trust – through reliable delivery, quality products, low prices and uncompromising customer service – that has enabled the Company to succeed in a market that many perceive as impossible to serve.” 

Launched in Kenya in 2013, Copia Global is a mobile commerce platform serving the untapped, 750 million middle and low-income African consumer market, including those who are remote, unbanked and unconnected.

Copia uses mobile technologies, a network of local Agents and proprietary logistics technology to serve a high growth market that formal retail and e-commerce cannot penetrate. The company has built a network of more than 5,000 Agents, small shopkeepers who serve as ordering and delivery points, across parts of Kenya.

The online to offline platform operates its own technology-enabled logistics service to fulfill within two days. The firm has served over more than 3 million orders.

Shakir Merali, Partner at LGT Lightstone says “Copia’s m-commerce model is the next big African leapfrogging technology; just like mobile phones leapfrogged landlines and solar power leapfrogged the grid, Copia is leapfrogging retail.  LGT Lightstone believes Copia’s m-commerce model is the way to reach a huge untapped market that others cannot serve.”

According to the IMF, consumer spending in Africa is projected to reach $2.1 trillion by 2025 with the middle class driving this growth, a vast source of potential for prosperity.

However, due to high logistics costs, formal retailers and ecommerce companies struggle to profitably serve this customer group.  Tackling geographical barriers with world-class delivery capabilities, truck routing software, local knowledge and mobile tracking technology, Copia can serve a previously unprofitable market profitably.

Copia also appointed Isaac Awuondo and Betty Mwangi to its board.  Isaac is the former Group Managing Director of CBA Group and now Chairman of NCBA Bank PLC and brings extensive commercial acumen and financial expertise to Copia’s board.   Betty is world-renowned for her leadership role at Safaricom where she was responsible for launching the successful mobile payment service, MPESA.  She will be instrumental in driving Copia’s world class technology as well as agent network growth.

Tim Steel CEO, Copia Global said: “I would like to extend a warm welcome to Isaac and Betty upon joining the Copia Board of Directors. With their guidance, Copia will grow rapidly enabling millions of people to buy household products and services easily and affordably.  Isaac and Betty’s impressive track-records are a perfect fit with our goal to reach millions of mass market African consumers.”

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