Michael Ukpong, Ruke Awaritefe, and Onyekachi Izukanne launched TradeDepot in 2016. The Nigerian based startup helps in integrating stakeholders along the trade value chain. The major trade value chain participants comprise of the retailers, manufacturers, and distributors. The FMCG companies use the startup to distribute commodities in the warehouses across Nigeria. The company is now planning to increase its customer base in Nigeria as well as in other countries. The startup allows the retailers to access information about brands’ discounts and prices. The company received US$3 million funding from the Partech Ventures last month.
According to the startup’s CEO, Onyekachi Izukanne, the platform enables the companies in making orders. The startup also allows the manufactures to track the distribution channel of their products.
The startup co-founders have a good track record for many years. They have so far launched three startups in the last 15 years. They first founded the IFC-funded ed-tech startup followed by a technology consulting company. The second startup helped them to raise more than US$40 million in revenue. The TadeDepot idea emanated from their consulting company experiences. They observed the problems faced by the consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. Some of the CPGs included the UAC Group, Coca-Cola Hellenic, and Cadbury in West Africa.
The startup has now gained momentum and experiences a lot of success in the region. The main goal of the company is to link the CPGs and the retailers in Africa. The company’s clients comprise of the multinational institutions. The clients use the platform to help them penetrate several markets. They target to start operating across the continent in the next 18 months.
Izukanne noted that their company is still focusing expansion strategies in Nigeria. The investment funds will enable them to implement their goal in the country. They currently work with CPG companies like the Population Sciences International. Others include Coca-Cola and Promasidor among others.
The company recorded an increase in profit by 400% in the last financial year 2016-2017. This high performance was due to increase in their customer base in Nigeria. TradeDepot retail clients include the small-scale informal retailers and many others. The company plans to improve its operating systems. This move will allow their users to place orders via their mobile phones. They have also incorporated the use of USSD to ease the transaction processes. However, the startup’s challenges comprise of lack of updated consumers data and actual trade.