Startups & Ideas

Wasoko Expands to Zambia, Bringing Innovative B2B E-commerce to Southern Africa

Wasoko, a B2B e-commerce company in Africa, has announced its expansion into Zambia, marking its first venture into Southern Africa. The move signifies Wasoko’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology to revolutionize the informal retail supply chain.

With an investment of over $1 million in its inaugural year of operations, Wasoko aims to empower local Zambian businesses and communities by providing essential goods at affordable prices through the power of e-commerce.

The company will launch its central hub in Lusaka, enabling small retailers across the city to access a wide range of products for same-day delivery and secure working capital financing, all at their fingertips through a convenient mobile app. Establishing Lusaka as a central hub is part of Wasoko’s broader strategy to adopt a hub and spoke logistics network, driving operational efficiency and paving the way for rapid regional expansions.

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Daniel Yu, the Founder and Global CEO of Wasoko, expressed his enthusiasm about the launch, stating, “As we embark on the next phase of our growth journey, it is crucial that the markets we enter are conducive to our ambitions. Zambia provides precisely the environment we seek. With high smartphone usage and a pro-business government administration focused on expanding the digital economy, Zambia aligns perfectly with our current core markets in terms of regulatory practices and supplier bases intertwined with East Africa.”

Yu continued, “We are confident that our launch in Zambia will not only accelerate our progress across the continent but also significantly enhance the purchasing power of everyday citizens and improve their livelihoods.”

In addition to the expansion into Zambia, Wasoko plans to double its service radius in its existing locations in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. With a network of over 200,000 informal retailers and over 5 million orders delivered to date, Wasoko has firmly established itself as a market leader. The company raised a record-breaking $125 million in a Series B funding round in March 2022, the largest ever for a non-fintech startup in Africa. Last year, the Financial Times recognized Wasoko as Africa’s Fastest Growing Company.

Since its inception in 2016, Wasoko has been at the forefront of developing innovative technology to address the supply chain challenges faced by millions of local shop owners in Africa’s informal retail sector. In Africa, the industry is valued at over $600 billion, with over 70% of Zambian households purchasing their food from informal retailers. However, the sector remains highly fragmented and inefficient, with shop owners struggling with stockouts, limited access to capital, and difficulties in receiving goods from suppliers.

Through the Wasoko mobile app, shop owners can purchase goods from manufacturers and distributors at competitive prices based on supply and demand. They also gain access to real-time tracking data on sales, business insights, and market trends. The platform has streamlined the end-to-end logistics process, encompassing procurement, distribution, financing, and technology, enabling Wasoko to deliver exceptional fulfillment and merchant engagement rates.

Wasoko’s expansion into Zambia not only signifies a significant milestone for the company but also holds promise for the local economy, as it aims to uplift local businesses, increase access to affordable goods, and drive economic growth through innovative e-commerce solutions.

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