Home Opinion Press Releases Francophone Africa Retail Market gets US$3.2 Million seed from Maad

Francophone Africa Retail Market gets US$3.2 Million seed from Maad

Retailer With Smartphone And Wide Shop View
Retailer With Smartphone And Wide Shop View

Maad, Francophone Africa’s fastest-growing tech & logistics platform for informal retailers, today announced the successful completion of its $3.2 million seed funding round (debt & equity). 

The round was led by Ventures Platform, with participation from Seedstars International Ventures, Reflect Ventures, OuiCapital, Launch Africa, Voltron Capital & Alumni Ventures. Proparco and local banks participated in the debt financing.


Maad is a tech & logistics platform that directly connects suppliers and small retailers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). Their tech-driven solution allows retailers to order products from a one-stop shop, with reliable delivery, and competitive prices while benefiting from working capital loans. Maad leverages this distribution infrastructure to offer additional high-value services to brands: data, software, and services for advertising, distribution, and market understanding.


Maad is on a mission to transform the retail landscape in Francophone Africa, where 80% to 95% of consumption still takes place in informal mom-and-pop shops. “Among startups operating in this space, Maad benefits from a clear first-mover advantage in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa. We often say this is a blue ocean. As the fastest-growing player in the region, we are well-positioned to maintain our leadership and continue driving transformation in this underserved market,” said Sidy Niang, Co-founder & CEO of Maad.


The company currently operates in Senegal and has already achieved significant milestones, including partnering with more than 80 suppliers, offering a catalog of over 1,000 SKUs of household brands, and reaching a monthly GMV of $3 million, while operating near breakeven. Maad plans to use the funds to further expand across & dominate the Senegalese market, introduce financial services such as Buy Now, and Pay Later through a digital wallet, and launch in a second country in Francophone Africa. 


Maad’s founding team brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Jessica Long, Co-founder & COO, focused on Operations Excellence & Technology, was the 15th employee at Airbnb and has been living in Senegal for over 7 years, designing digital distribution systems nationwide. Sidy Niang is focused on Growth, Hiring & Fundraising, has over 4 years of experience in private equity and infrastructure investments with the IFC (International Finance Corporation), and previously co-founded a food delivery company.


“Small retailers are central to neighborhood life and Senegal’s economy. Maad builds scalable digital technology and core logistics infrastructure so that these retailers can make everyday-need products consistently available to people who make less than $5 a day,” added Jessica Long.


She continues, “Maad’s strength lies in its technology. We have built a fully in-house ERP, for order, delivery & warehouse management that fits perfectly with our operations, allowing us to operate more efficiently at every single step of the logistics chain. We also collect data points on products & retailers, which we process and use to make insights available to suppliers so that they can make better decisions


Maad’s innovative approach to digitizing the informal retail sector in Francophone Africa has the potential to create a significant impact on the lives of small business owners and consumers,” said Dotun Oloworopoku, Managing Partner at Ventures Platform. “We are thrilled to lead this investment round and support the Maad team as they work towards building a more efficient and inclusive retail ecosystem in the region.”


Charlie Graham-Brown, Seedstars International Ventures Partner shared, “What sets Maad apart is their ability to navigate the complexities of the informal retail sector while maintaining a sustainable business model. Their focus on profitability and efficient use of capital, combined with their first-mover advantage in a largely untapped market, makes them an attractive investment opportunity. We believe that Maad has the potential to drive significant economic impact and create lasting positive change in the lives of retailers and consumers across the region.”


Maad’s unique positioning, sustainable business model, and ability to secure funding during a challenging climate for B2B e-commerce startups demonstrate the company’s potential to drive significant transformation across Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa’s retail landscape.

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