Timon Capital led a $15 million pre-Series A investment in the Nigerian B2B e-commerce company Omnibiz. The raise comprises a $5M equity investment and a $10M debt investment. Chapel Hill Denham, Ventures Platform, Lofty Inc, Musha Ventures, and Chandaria Capitals all took part in the fund round.
Omnibiz offers a digital platform that is completely integrated and is available to retailers in more than 12 cities across Nigeria and Ghana. Through the Omnibiz app, retailers can easily make purchases and refill from over 200 different product brands, including Nestle and Coca-Cola. This month marks the beginning of the future regional expansion that will take place thanks to the raised capital. Rustagi stated that the company is interested in expanding to second-tier towns in Nigeria, such as Asaba, Akure, and Ilorin, because these areas are experiencing growth in the retail sector.
He said these places have no assistance, which is why they believe there is enormous potential there. Omnibiz’s long-term goal is to position itself as these cities’ preeminent B2B operating system for informal retailers. Through assistance with last-mile deliveries, procurement, working capital, inventory management, and operational tools for tracking sales, cost, prices, and profit.
During a call with TechCabal, Deepankar Rustagi, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Omnibiz, stated that the company was encouraged to secure a pre-Series A round of funding due to the involvement of current investors.
According to a forecast released in 2020 by Standard Bank, informal retail would control 90 percent of Africa’s consumer items and retail industry.
Digital solutions are being offered to Nigeria’s informal retailers by businesses such as Alerzo and TradeDepot, both of which are based in Nigeria. Rustagi asserts that the primary differentiating factor between Omnibiz and its competitors is the company’s digitization of the whole retail network.
Instead of operating its own logistics fleet, the company uses its platform to facilitate connections between a network of logistics companies and preexisting distributors. Additionally, retailers can gain access to credit, buy-now-pay-later alternatives, and other forms of financial assistance through Omnibiz, which was introduced in November of the previous year.
According to Rustagi, the company offered the option to “buy now and pay later” because many of the retailers using the company’s platform ran out of stock frequently due to a lack of financing that allowed them to expand the size or volume of their inventory.
Retailers may move forward more quickly and operate additional stores more easily with the help of MyStore, an accounting solution designed specifically for retailers to manage their customers and inventory.
Because of this additional support, the company anticipates that the revenue of shops using its platform will grow by a factor of four as a result. He went on to say that the development of this technology had assisted the company in retaining 65,000 dealers and achieving an average monthly sales volume of $250 per store.
When asked about the difficulties that Omnibiz encountered due to the buy-now-pay-later approach for their goods, Rustagi stated that the most significant obstacle the company experienced was teaching its clients about the model.
The company also offers insights that show retailers their real-time inventory stock, allowing the shops to avoid acquiring things they may have difficulty selling and save money. The effectiveness of this insight feature, according to Omnibiz, is evidenced in the fact that over half of the company’s yearly gross merchandise value of $130 million originates from return retail consumers. This information was provided in a statement shared with TechCabal.
During the call, Rustagi also mentioned that these kinds of insights and data are essential components driving expansion in the retail industry. Merchants can improve their stock-keeping decisions, as well as their income and margins, with the help of the pricing information that their company provides to retailers.
Regarding the funding round, Nikos Katsaounis, a partner at Timon Capital, said in a statement shared with TechCabal: “We invested in Omnibiz because we feel that it is providing a solution to a significant challenge.”The FMCG supply chain is messy, inefficient, and hard to understand. Omnibiz takes on all of these problems and solves them with an effective software layer that gives much-needed information about a market and supply chain otherwise hard to understand.