Kwik, a Nigerian startup known for its on-demand B2B logistics service, has entered the growing e-commerce market in Africa with the launch of KwikStore, a free online storefront for African businesses to set up shops in. This move follows a $2 million investment the company raised earlier in March.

Founded by Romain Poirot-Lellig, Olivier Decrock, and Yinka Olayanju, Kwik was launched in 2018 to provide logistics coverage to urban cities in West Africa, starting with Lagos and Abuja, the 2 most urbanised states in Nigeria. However, logistics services were simply Kwik’s go-to-market strategy. The company announced after their last raise that they would be incorporating financial services into their business model—specifically, a merchant lending solution.

While they still have till the end of the year to make good on their 2022 goals, Kwik has now launched an e-commerce platform that enables African entrepreneurs, online merchants, SMEs, and social vendors to create an easy-to-customise online store quickly and without any technical expertise.

Kwik’s smartphone-friendly stores will allow vendors to connect their stores to their social media accounts, thereby creating an automated process for sales, inventory management, and delivery services. 

“We will continue to expand our offer of innovative digital services focused on enabling African merchants to grow their business with all the benefits that technology brings,” said Romain Poirot-Lellig, founder and chief executive of Kwik. “KwikStore is a milestone in establishing Kwik as the one-stop-shop for African merchants to run and grow their business from their smartphone.”

KwikStore is accessible as a free feature of Kwik’s delivery app, which has been designed to automatically dispatch drivers to the pickup location once an order is completed. However, users can choose not to use Kwik for their delivery when they use their KwikStore account on the web platform directly.

Considering that Kwik currently operates in 2 cities, it is a no-brainer that the continent-wide solution will require other delivery options for users. Kwik’s growth goal for the year is to reach 800,000 online merchants (a moderate fraction of Africa’s digital sellers), but with its limited logistics operations, this move will drive up its need for logistics partnerships across the continent.

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