FCMG is starting to get a notch of notice on the funding scenes this recent times, Tushop, a social-commerce platform in Kenya that enables the group-buying of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs), is set for expansion across Nairobi after raising $3 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by 4DX Ventures.
Tushop‘s latest round had the participation of JAM Fund, Breyer Capital, Chandaria Capital, TO Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, FirstCheck Africa, and DFS Lab. Wasoko (formerly Sokowatch) also joined to make their first strategic institutional investment. A number of angel investors including Olugbenga Agboola (GB); Flutterwave CEO, Raja Kaul; Sundial Group president, Eli Pollak; Apollo Agriculture CEO, and Ida Mannoh; Chipper Cash director of growth, also took part in the round.
Founded last year by Cathy Chepkemboi, also the CEO, Tushop uses community-leaders, who collect orders from their neighbors and also support last-mile deliveries.
Each community leader has a virtual shop where the neighbors place their orders, which Tushop aggregates for bulk orders to manufacturers or other producers – like farmers. Chepkemboi says this arrangement earns shoppers up to 60% in savings, even with the agents earning sales commissions.
The startup plans to grow its business in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, before expanding to the rest of the country. “We are going to scale across Nairobi, and because it is an operationally intensive business, we [immediately] need more warehouses and delivery trucks. We are hiring and also improving our technology and our agents’ channels to make the experience even better,” Chepkemboi told Said
“We think that the market opportunity for Tushop is incredibly large, and that Cathy is the right founder to go after it given her deep understanding of the market, and impressive execution and growth thus far. We’re thrilled to join such a strong team of other investors and advisors to help Tushop become the dominant player in group-buying across Africa,” said 4DX Ventures, managing partner Peter Orth.
Tushop joins the growing list of startups that are digitizing the retail sector in Kenya. They include Marketforce, whose RejaReja app makes it possible for informal merchants to order and pay for inventory digitally. Wasoko, also in the same space as RejaReja, operates by distributing FMCG from suppliers to retailers. The difference between the two is that RejaReja, unlike Wasoko, is an asset-light distribution platform- it does not own capital assets like warehouses and delivery trucks; these are provided by its partners including manufacturers and distributors. Tushop is one of the first social commerce platforms in Kenyan space directly sourcing goods, including fresh produce, from producers and delivering to shoppers.