Ken Njoroge, a co-founder of Cellulant and former Group CEO, has joined MarketForce as Board Chairman. MarketForce recently raised $40 million in its Series A round of funding, and the entrepreneur was a part of it.
Ken is well-known for his work at Cellulant, where he was the co-founder and Group CEO for 17 years. He and Bolaji Akinboro co-founded Cellulant in 2003, and together they built the company into what it is today.
The self-styled evangelist of mobile commerce said that he left his CEO role at Cellulant as he wanted to spend more time with family. This was also in the midst of the fallout of “a major internal crisis” that rocked the company in August 2020.
Cellulant was founded in Kenya around the same time as Nigerian payment companies Interswitch and eTranzact. These three have been pivotal to accelerating digital payments on two of the continent’s most tech-driven markets.
The business pivoted to digital payments soon after. Today, it is an internationally acclaimed company that serves 12 markets through partnerships with about 28 mobile operators and 31 banks.
Ken Njoroge, a co-founder of Cellulant, has joined MarketForce at a time when the company is poised for a bright future. After completing a pre-Series A round, MarketForce has raised $40 million.
The round was led by V8 Capital Partners – a London and Lagos based African-focused investment vehicle – with participation from Ten13 VC, SOSV Select Fund, Vu Ventures, Vastly Valuable Ventures, Uncovered Fund, along several existing investors; Reflect Ventures, Greenhouse Capital, Century Oak Capital and Remapped Ventures. The oversubscribed round was made up of equity and debt.
MarketForce was co-founded in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti and is now a leading B2B commerce and fintech marketplace that empowers informal merchants in Africa.
The firm helps these informal merchants to order, pay and receive inventory digitally and conveniently, access financing, collect digital payments and make extra money by reselling digital financial services such as airtime, electricity tokens and bill payments.
With this round of funding, MarketForce plans to scale merchant inventory financing through a BNPL offering, grow deeper in existing markets and avail more digital financial and banking services through its extensive merchant network. MarketForce has a team of 400 and intends to double the team before the end of the year.