Copia Global, a Kenyan B2C e-commerce platform, has secured $50 million in a Series C equity stake to help it accelerate its African expansion.
Copia plans to use the funds to expand its successful model across East Africa and into other African countries, reaching millions of underserved people.
The company has fulfilled almost 10 million orders to date, and it recently expanded into Uganda. Following its US$50 million Series C round, which was led by Goodwell Investments and included previous investors Lightrock, the German development finance institution DEG, and Perivoli Innovations, as well as new investors Zebu Investment Partners, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Koa Labs, the company is now looking to expand further in Africa.
Copia, which began operations in 2013, combines technology with a network of local agents to provide a diverse product offering and efficient, dependable delivery to “base of the pyramid” customers. Its service allows rural residents to purchase things that would otherwise be difficult to obtain without traveling to a major city.
Across Kenya and Uganda, the company has created a network of over 25,000 agents, small retailers who function as order and delivery locations. Customers can choose whether to interact with Copia online or offline as a result of this.
Copia can deliver to the most remote locations, even those with poor road infrastructure or no addresses, at no additional cost to the consumer, thanks to its own technology-enabled logistics service. Consumers in the city and in the diaspora can utilize the service to shop for loved ones back home.
“While mobile technology underpins all we do, it is Copia’s relentless focus on building trust – by providing low prices, quality products, reliable delivery, and uncompromising customer service – that has enabled Copia to succeed in a market that many perceived impossible,” said Tim Steel, CEO of Copia Global.
“Copia broadens access to affordable household goods for families, regardless of their income level, access to technology or location. This fits perfectly with Goodwell Investments’ strategy to support businesses that provide unserved or underserved groups in Africa access to affordable essential goods and services,” said Els Boerhof, managing partner at Goodwell Investments.
“People in rural areas in Africa typically travel to the nearest city to buy essential goods such as building materials or medicine, which is costly and time-intensive – on average rural Kenyans, for example, spend over an hour and US$4 per commute. Copia’s e-commerce model is built for the unique requirements of the African market and will save many Africans a lot of time and money. We see it as one of the next big leapfrogging technologies; just like mobile phones leapfrogged landlines and solar power leapfrogged the grid, Copia is leapfrogging retail. We are delighted to continue to support Copia by leading their Series C round.”