Copia Global, a 6-year-old e-commerce and logistics startup that serves unbanked customers in central Kenya has raised $26 million in a Series B round.
Copia focuses on catering to low-income consumers who live outside urban areas.
“We built our business on a mobile platform to bring retail services to low to middle-income African consumers—consumers who are remote, unbanked, unconnected and who may not a valid ID or address,” says Tim Steel, CEO of Copia.
“Other e-commerce players are focused on the top of the pyramid with middle-class and elite,” he added on how their business differs from others.
The new funding comes after receiving $2 million from Goodwell Investments in January 2019.
Copia will utilize the new money to strengthen operations in Kenya and expand across East Africa.
According to Crunchbase, Copia Global has raised a collective $22 million since 2015. The recent Series B round brings its total amount raised to $48 million.
According to Quartz, this funding round was led by LGT Lightstone. Also, Perivoli Innovations, Endeavor Catalyst, ELEA, and Goodwell Investments participated in the exercise.
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Copia Building a Direct Relationship with Consumers
Copia’s strength is a 5,000-strong agent network comprising mainly of local, small shopkeepers. They get commissions by serving as points of orders and deliveries. The model doesn’t involve making purchases online via a website or mobile app.
The agents help place orders for the customers when they walk into their stores. The agents also take payments and serve as delivery points.
Beyond reaching ‘the unreachable’, these agents also serve another purpose.
“We established relationships with agents in these areas because those agents are trusted members of the community and through them, we build a direct relationship with the consumer,” Steel says.
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