Afri-Commerce in Africa is growing at a steady rate, according to Disrupt Africa there are around 264 eCommerce start-ups across the continent. With most of Africa’s eCommerce startups located in Nigeria followed by South Africa and Kenya.
Nigeria has a population of around 195 million people, it has the largest economy in terms of gross domestic product and is the most populous country in Africa. 40 percent of Afri-Commerce ventures have headquarters in Nigeria. However, it has an internet penetration of only 48 percent.
South Africa has a population of 55.5 million has a 54 percent internet penetration. It has a blooming middle class and is one of the countries with the best cross-border potential.
Kenya has a population of 48.5 million and have a 79 percent internet penetration. Kenya is home to M-Pesa, a service which facilitates mobile money. The availability of a secure payment system encourages internet access and online buying. (SoftPac, 2018)
Below is a list of some of the Afri-Commerce startups in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa
Jumia Group, was founded in 2012 by the Berlin-based Rocket Internet and formally known as Africa Internet group. It operates in 14 African countries and in the Middle East. Jumia is an online shopping website for electronics and fashion. They offer different types of services including Jumia Market, Jumia Travel, Food, Jumia House, Jumia Jobs, Jumia Car, Jumia Deals and Jumia Services.
Kongo was founded in 2012 in Nigeria and initially sold only baby and beauty products. It does not operate outside of Nigeria. In 2014, Kongo opened Seller HQ, a third-party marketplace. The site has about 1 million customers and receives over 300,000 unique visits daily. It only operates within Nigeria.
Kilimall sells in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda. It offers affiliate programs for small African businesses as well as seller programs. Besides supporting African businesses, they also sell products from China.
Sky.Garden was launched in 2017, it is a SaaS mobile commerce platform which provides more than 3,000 sellers with web shops and offers 23,000 unique products in 30 different categories. It only accepts M-Pesa payments from customers and pays all merchants using M-Pesa.
Takealot was formed by Tiger Global Management in 2011 as a result of an acquisition of an existing Afri-Commerce firm. Takealot also owns Mr. D Delivery, giving it its own delivery network with more than 900 drivers. For its marketplace merchants, Takealot offers storage, fulfilment and delivery, and customer service.
Zando is a subsidiary to parent company, The Jumia Group, which operates as a fashion retailer and across numerous other vertical in various other African countries. Zando sells over 500 brands, including footwear, apparel, homeware and beauty products.
Vuuqa is a newbie in the Afri-Commerce space but promises to be one of the fastest growing Afri-Commerce stores in South Africa with plans to expand into Kenya. Vuuqa is an online marketplace that sells African brands by connecting them to the world. All products on Vuuqa are made in Africa by Africans.
Afri-Commerce in Africa is the future even though there still remains many challenges. With mobile penetration reaching close to 70% on the continent and an increase in internet penetration, technology will continue to open doors and provide new opportunities for Afri-Commerce in Africa.
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