Copia Global — an e-commerce platform serving unbanked customers in rural Kenya — has raised a USD 26 Mn round led by LGT Lightstone.
Among other investors that participated in the latest round are Perivoli Innovations, Goodwell Investments, ELEA, and Endeavor Catalyst.
Copia Global was launched in 2015. Before this Series-B round, the startup had raised up to USD 4 Mn since inception.
The latest funding round brings Copia Global’s total funding during this calendar year to USD 28 Mn, having raised USD 2 Mn from Goodwell Investments in January 2019.
It also means that Copia Global has now raised a total of USD 32 Mn since launching in Kenya, and this according to Tim Steel, CEO of Copia Global, who made this known to WeeTracker.
Copia Global’s unique e-commerce model is such that it serves up both online and offline experiences while targeting low-income and unbanked citizens living in rural areas. This pretty much goes against the paths ever taken by any e-commerce player in Africa.
The company’s model provides for a network of agents scattered across Kenya — even the remotest parts — to assist customers in making purchases on its website. That is, the agents place orders on behalf of customers.
The Copia Global business model also allows customers to make purchases via USSD technology with feature phones that are devoid of smart features and unable to access the internet.
Copia will use the new money raised to strengthen operations in Kenya and spread its tentacles across East Africa.
The latest fundraise might suggest that African e-commerce is not a dead-end after all, despite the well-documented struggles of the best-funded e-commerce players on the continent.
Update: An earlier version of this article erroneously pegged Copia Global’s total funding at USD 48 Mn. This has been adjusted to USD 32 Mn as per the CEO’s declaration to WeeTracker.