Kenyan retail tech-startup MarketForce partners with Cellulant to expand in five new markets across Africa.


MarketForce, a Kenyan B2B retail and financial services distribution startup, has expanded into five more African markets to expand RejaReja, its retailer’super app’ that allows informal merchants to order and pay for inventory digitally, accept utility bill payments, and access financing for their businesses.

After successful pilot programs, the startup has announced the expansion of RejaReja, a B2B retail marketplace, into Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. This comes just two months after it expanded outside Kenya by launching in Nigeria.

To enter these new markets, MarketForce has partnered with Cellulant, a pan-African payments company that enables local and international merchants to accept “locally relevant and alternative” payment methods from their customers.

Cellulant partners with 46 mobile money operators in Africa, as well as 120 banks, and services 35 African countries with a physical presence in 18. RejaReja will use Cellulant’s coverage to expand across Africa.

By the end of next year, Marketforce aims to have a million RejaReja merchants. Since its launch in December 2020, RejaReja has seen remarkable growth, with over 87,000 orders placed on the platform to date, with an average basket value of $151. By the end of this month, it is expected to have reached a transaction volume of $60 million on an annually basis.

The startup’s plan for RejaReja is to have a presence in every market across Sub-Saharan Africa in the near future by building an all inclusive platform for informal merchants, who sell a large portion of Africa’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). In Sub-Saharan Africa, informal retailers offer nearly 80% of household shopping, but small stores face a number of issues, including stockouts, earnings instability, and financing, which make it difficult for their businesses to grow.

MarketForce, through RejaReja, is addressing these issues by ensuring next-day delivery of goods and leveraging client data to create credit profiles that may be used to secure loans. Pezesha, a digital financial marketplace platform, has teamed with the startup to provide loans to its merchants.