African mobility startup Plentywaka, Kenya’s MarketForce get funding

 African mobility startup Plentywaka, Kenya’s MarketForce get funding

Plentywaka CEO Onyeka Akumah (fourth from left) with executives of the company and Stabus

Two-year-old shared mobility startup Plentywaka, which is operational in Nigeria, has raised $1.2 million in a seed funding round led by Toronto-based venture capital firm The Xchange.

Others who participated include Chinese VC firm SOSV, US-based Shock Ventures, Argentil Capital Ventures and ODBA & Co Ventures.

This comes right after the Toronto-based venture wrapped up Techstars Toronto Accelerator programme last month. Techstars Toronto also invested some money, as did some unnamed angel investor from North America and Africa.

Plentywaka was co-founded two years ago by Onyeka Akumah, Johnny Ena, John Shaibu and Afolabi Oluseyi. It offers both inter-state and intra-state travel through an on-demand ride-sharing platform across nearly two dozen cities in Nigeria.

The firm has cumulatively clocked just under 500,000 rides to date. It has now also entered Ghana with the acquisition of Stabus.

MarketForce

MarketForce, a Kenyan B2B platform for retail distribution of consumer goods and digital financial services in Africa, has topped up its recent $2 million pre-Series A funding round with an additional $100,000 from the Harambeans Prosperity Fund.

MarketForce was founded in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti. It combines a field sales automation SaaS solution with its ‘RejaReja’ B2B marketplace to digitize how informal retail merchants buy and sell FMCG products and digital financial services.

The company plans to launch in Nigeria and take RejaReja to more towns in East Africa.

This funding comes just weeks after MarketForce acquired Digiduka, a Kenyan fintech venture. Digiduka was formed in 2019 and funded during the inaugural cohort of the Antler East Africa programme in Nairobi. It helps informal retailers make extra money by reselling digital services such as airtime, electricity tokens and bill payments.

Vivek Sinha

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