Kenyan startup Marketforce 360 which is digitizing retail distribution in Africa has been accepted into the Y Combinator accelerator programme receiving US$150,000 in seed funding.
Marketforce 360 is the only African startup to be admitted into the prestigious U.S based accelerator programme for its Summer 2020 batch.
Founded in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti, MarketForce 360 enables consumer brands to optimize how they deliver essential goods and services to retailers and consumers by bridging the information gap in last-mile distribution, while maximizing efficiency across the sales and distribution value chain.
They leverage the power and availability of mobile devices by enabling field agents to record all customer interactions as they happen in the field; for digitized orders, deliveries and payments to enhance productivity and improve customer service.
MarketForce 360 then aggregates the data collected in the field and presents it through live web dashboards, where manufacturers, distributors and financial service providers can easily and effectively monitor and analyze their distribution channels; enabling them to estimate demand and tailor their sales, distribution and marketing efforts based on real-time market trends and consumer purchasing habits; Enabling them to harness the potential of the African market like never before.
MarketForce 360 is already enabling trade across 50,000+ retailers, and US$200 million in transactions have been processed through the platform to date.
To date, the startup has received a total of US$500,000 in seed funding having recently secured US$350,000 from ViKtoria Ventures, EchoVC Partners, P1 Ventures, Ventures Platform and a group of angel investors.
Y Combinator interviews and selects two or more batches of companies per year. The companies receive seed money, advice, and connections in exchange for 7% equity of the company.
The program normally includes “office hours”, where startup founders meet individually and group meetings. Founders also participate in weekly dinners where guests from the Silicon Valley ecosystem (successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, etc.) speak to the founders. But this year, the program including the Demo Day will be entirely remote due to the COVID-19 crisis.
As of 2019, Y Combinator has invested in over 2,000 companies including Paystack, WorkPay and Flutterwave from Africa.
Cover Image Credits: Marketforce 360