MarketForce, a Kenyan B2B platform for retail distribution of consumer products and digital financial services, has chosen Nigeria as its first port of expansion following a $2 million Series A investment round.
MarketForce was founded in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti with the goal of assisting consumer brands in improving how they deliver essential goods and services to retailers and consumers by bridging the information gap in last-mile distribution and increasing efficiency throughout the sales and distribution value chain.
The startup’s platform leverages mobile devices by enabling field agents to capture all customer interactions as they occur in the field, and then aggregates this data and presents it through live web dashboards
MarketForce recently raised over $2 million in Series A funding and has now opened its doors in Nigeria for the first time.
“Africa is reported to have over 100 million merchants. A whopping 40 million of them are in Nigeria, with the highest annual FMCG purchasing in the whole continent, signifying how significant the market opportunity for MarketForce is,” said Tesh Mbaabu, the startup’s co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO).
“Nigeria FMCG retail distribution operates very much like Kenya, it is very fragmented and competitive, which gives us the opportunity to make a real impact for both retailers and manufacturers.”
The appointment of Arthur Bourekas as MarketForce’s new chief commercial officer is linked to the expansion (CCO). Bourekas has worked for A.G. Leventis (Nigeria) Plc and PZ Cussons in Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia for over 25 years, executing commercial growth, logistics, and distribution in some of the world’s most difficult countries. Bourekas, an experienced FMCG distribution expert in Africa, was most recently a senior level with Alerzo, a Nigerian B2B retail-tech startup that also helps merchants in stocking products straight from manufacturers.
“FMCG distribution in Africa is yet to be done effectively. Even multinationals with years of experience often can optimise their distribution and add real sales growth to their business. Innovation and focus is key. I am confident that with the platform MarketForce has built so far, along with the expertise being built within the organisation, we are destined to revolutionise the sector and become a formidable force,” he said.
Mbaabu said his new CCO aligned to MarketForce’s ambitious growth plans and brought significant expertise into this new, critical role.
“His extensive emerging market experience, ability to drive commercial growth, and depth of technical distribution knowledge in Nigeria will be valuable in our efforts to deepen our East Africa market reach while expanding into the West African market,” he said.
“We would like to focus on Kenya and Nigeria for now – but as an aggressive startup we continue assessing where we will go next. That notwithstanding, our focus remains on Sub-Saharan Africa, so you can bet we will be back to somewhere in East Africa.”