Wasoko, a pan-African B2B e-commerce startup, expands its African B2B e-commerce network into DRC, leveraging its Rwandan hub.

Wasoko, an African e-commerce company that currently operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia, has expanded into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This marks its second country expansion this year, following its debut in Zambia in May. 

The expansion is being facilitated through Wasoko’s existing e-commerce hub in neighbouring Rwanda. The e-commerce company has expanded its reach to small businesses in Goma, the capital of DRC’s North Kivu province, with the help of cross-border trade zones supported by the Rwandan government as part of its more comprehensive drive to foster regional economic integration.

Growth in Rwanda

Following its expansion into Rwanda in 2019, Wasoko witnessed an astounding increase in its revenues, surging from $2 million in its inaugural year of operation to $48 million in 2022. Presently, the platform caters to over 5,000 informal retailers exclusively in Rwanda. Given the impressive performance achieved in Rwanda, Wasoko is equally optimistic about leveraging its existing infrastructure to drive growth for small businesses in neighbouring DRC.

“As one of Africa’s largest countries, the DRC presents a substantial market opportunity for Wasoko. Despite a rapidly growing population of nearly 100 million people with increasing purchasing power, the country’s significant infrastructural challenges have placed huge limitations on its e-commerce sector, which presents a vastly untapped opportunity,” Daniel Yu, Wasoko’s founder and Global CEO said regarding the expansion.

Wasoko’s expansion into the DRC is the latest milestone for the company. In March 2022, Wasoko raised a $125 million Series B round, making it the largest venture financing round ever raised for a non-fintech startup in Africa.

Philip Lucky, Acting Chief Investment Officer, Rwanda Development Board, enthusiastically praises Wasoko’s expansion into the DRC. According to him, “The Government of Rwanda is pleased with Wasoko’s expansion to the DRC. It joins Rwanda’s success stories of its proof-of-concept strategy, which allows investors to set up and test their solutions in Rwanda before scaling to the region. We remain committed to improving Rwanda’s ICT & Innovation eco-system in order to enable investors and startups to thrive.”

After expanding to DRC, Wasoko plans to replicate its model in other African regions. This is part of its long-term goal to strengthen its Pan-African presence, empower local businesses, and connect African consumers with a wide range of products and services.

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Mariam Muhammad Reporter, TechCabal

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