Bullish Bets On Africa’s Beleaguered Informal Sector Bring BNPL To Retailers

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Whenever there is an unusual development in the African venture backing ecosystem, the dealmaking spotlight often zeros in on fintech startups. However, over the past year, that status quo has all but stayed the same, as a good number of non-fintechs ceremoniously hopped onto the record-breaking bandwagon. 

VC funding for B2B eCommerce retail startups (Supplias, MarketForce, Asilimia, Alerzo, and the like) reached an all-time high in 2021, with TradeDepot—a Nigerian startup that connects consumer brands to retailers via distribution—concluding the spree with a mega USD 110 M round from a consortium including the IFC. One of the largest Series Bs in the continent, TradeDepot’s raise also officially marked the advent of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) in African retail tech.

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