Copia Global, the first and only B2C e-commerce platform with a distribution solution to serve the rapidly growing 750 million middle and low-income African consumer market, is pleased to announce the appointment of former Amazon executive Jason Murray to its Board.
During Jason’s 19 years on Amazon’s leadership team, the company experienced unprecedented growth, increasing revenues from $1.6 billion to $236 billion. In this period of explosive growth, Jason had leadership roles in various critical e-commerce functions at Amazon, including software development, pricing, inventory planning, fulfillment, supply chain management, and retail systems. He brings this wealth of e-commerce knowledge to Copia Global during its time of rapid growth. Jason joins a team of highly accomplished Board members, including Founder and Chairman Tracey Turner, Isaac Awuondo, Chairman NCBA Bank, Jerry Held, a successful Silicon Valley technology executive, and Shakir Merali, LGT Impact investor representative.
“We are delighted to welcome Jason Murray to our Board. He brings an in-depth understanding of the global e-commerce industry. Which will enhance the Copia model as we expand across Africa,” said Tracey Turner, Copia Global Founder and Chairman. “Jason joins Copia at an exciting time when the African middle-class is growing, and Copia is experiencing rapid growth. Jason’s invaluable Amazon growth perspective will reinforce Copia’s strategy, accelerate our profitability and increase the value we provide to our customers and partners.”
Jason’s experience building and leading multiple global Amazon teams from India to China will bring invaluable e-commerce scaling expertise to the team as Copia embarks on its international expansion strategy. “In a challenging environment, Copia has already achieved significant milestones in its mission to provide access to an underserved consumer mass-market in Africa. And has demonstrated an unwavering customer-centric focus that I admire,” said Jason Murray, Co-Founder, and CEO, Shipium. “Given Copia’s impressive growth rate and the opportunity to expand across Africa. I am reminded of Amazon’s early days, which further indicates Copia’s enormous potential. I am thrilled to be joining an impressive cast of industry professionals in leading Copia’s world-class team to empower Africa’s low-to middle-income consumers.”
Launched in Kenya in 2013, Copia Global harnesses mobile technologies, a network of local Agents, and proprietary Copia Logistics to reach a market that formal retail and Western e-commerce models cannot. Copia brings quality products at the lowest market prices delivered at no cost to thousands of customers every day. The company has fulfilled more than 10 million orders in Kenya and Uganda.
“At Copia, we have developed an e-commerce model that is unique to the African middle to low-income class, and there is much to learn from Amazon’s incredible global growth trajectory. We are excited to have the opportunity to leverage the experience and perspective of a former Amazon leader such as Jason Murray towards Copia’s growth,” said Tim Steel, CEO, Copia Global.
The company has built a network of just under 30,000 Agents, small shopkeepers who serve as order and delivery points, across Kenya and Uganda. This allows customers to choose how they interact with Copia, online or offline. Operating its own technology-enabled world-class logistics service. Copia can deliver to the most remote locations, even in places with poor road infrastructure or lack of addresses, at no additional cost to the customer. Urban and diaspora-based consumers can also use the service to shop for loved ones back home.
B.TECH, Fawry expand Partnership to avail easier access to finance for Customers
Mastercard and OPay strategic partnership to grow cashless ecosystem and advance digital financial inclusion for millions
Mastercard and fintech giant OPay today announced a strategic partnership, which marks a significant boost for wider financial inclusion and economic prosperity by opening up digital commerce to millions of people across the Middle East and Africa. The collaboration enables OPay consumers and merchants in the region – including Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa and the UAE – to engage with brands and businesses anywhere across the globe, thanks to a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to the OPay eWallet.
This partnership is the latest milestone in Mastercard’s emerging market strategy where the technology company is collaborating with growing Fintech’s such as OPay to expand access to digital payments, enable multiple lifestyle services, create new pathways to financial inclusion and support the next generation of super-apps. Consumers are increasingly looking for seamless user experiences on a single platform offering easier interactions to complete various day-to-day needs, including sending and receiving money, ordering food and groceries, organizing transport, lending, investing and listing items they wish to sell.
In the initial phase of this partnership, OPay customers will benefit from the Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their OPay wallets, to shop at well-known global brands for leisure, travel, accommodation, entertainment, streaming services and more. The service is available regardless of whether or not the customer has a bank account. It also allows small business owners to purchase from suppliers abroad and pay with the secure virtual payment solution.
Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard EMEA, said: “At Mastercard, our innovation strategy is rooted in partnerships to support inclusion at scale. Our partnership with OPay demonstrates our commitment to supporting payments providers across the world to create an interconnected global payments ecosystem that benefits an array of consumers with unique needs.”
Yahui Zhou, CEO of OPay, said: “As the leading fintech in the Middle East and Africa, we are delighted to be partnering with Mastercard as we continue on our journey to promote financial inclusion, helping to open up the global economy to more consumers and businesses across Middle East and Africa.”
Since its operations started in 2018, OPay’s active users have grown to 15 million in dozens of markets in which it operates. The company processes millions of transactions per day on average. In Nigeria alone, where OPay takes significant market share, users have saved billions of US dollars in the last four years through credit-linked savings accounts from their mobile wallets and small loans from lenders that use its platform.
Plans are in place to launch OPay services in other markets in the next three to five years, significantly driving the growth of digital inclusion and digital commerce, while at the same time widening OPay customer inclusion into the global economy. Mastercard has made a worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses – with a focus on 25 million women entrepreneurs – into the digital economy by 2025.
Autochek acquires Morocco’s KIFAL Auto to drive North Africa expansion
Autochek, the automotive technology company making car ownership more accessible and affordable across Africa, has announced the acquisition of KIFAL Auto, Morocco’s leading automotive technology startup, to drive its expansion into North Africa. This acquisition represents the first major expansion of a West Africa-based startup into North Africa and it will facilitate effective Pan-African collaboration to drive innovation across the continent’s growing automotive market.
KIFAL Auto was founded by Nizar Abdallaoui Maane (Essec Paris graduate and former BNP Paribas consultant) in 2019 to transform the automotive experience in Morocco by providing a seamless process for buying and selling used cars, and enabling access to financing, warranties, insurance and other value-added services. The startup was the first to be accepted into the inaugural cohort of CDG Invest’s 212 Founders accelerator programme, which aims to fund and support world-class startups linked to Morocco and Africa.
Morocco is one of the most developed automotive markets in Africa, with more than 180,000 new cars and around 560,000 used cars sold annually. As a result of various policy developments and investments in infrastructure, Morocco’s automotive sector is set to grow a further $14 billion over the next five years. The country is home to an innovative technology hub, powered by a thriving startup ecosystem that delivers a wide range of solutions to support the automotive industry. Over the years, KIFAL Auto has emerged as a trusted partner for individuals and organisations in Morocco seeking to buy and sell used cars, with its transparent, secure and cost-effective processes.
With this acquisition, Autochek is uniquely positioned to tap into the innovation that underpins Morocco’s thriving automotive ecosystem, introduce its market leading solutions to alleviate various challenges across the value chain and further integrate the Pan-African automotive industry to drive shared value for consumers, manufacturers, financial institutions and other stakeholders.
Autochek is building the financial infrastructure to drive the penetration of auto financing across Africa, powered by a data analytics engine that makes it easier for financial institutions to offer credit to consumers. It has existing operations across West and East Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Uganda), a partner-led retail footprint in over 1,500 dealer and workshop locations, and more than 70 banking partners including Access Bank, Ecobank, UBA, Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.
Commenting on the acquisition, Etop Ikpe, CEO and co-founder of Autochek said, “from my first interaction with Nizar and his team at KIFAL Auto, I was so impressed by their passion for delivering effective solutions and their commitment to innovation. They have built an excellent platform and we are thrilled to have them onboard at Autochek to support the work we are doing to improve the automotive finance value proposition in Africa. There are so many parallels in our individual stories and I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship for years to come.”
Nizar Abdallaoui Maane, CEO and Founder of KIFAL Auto, said “I have long been an admirer of the work Autochek has done to enable improved experiences across Africa’s automotive value chain. There is so much we can learn from each other and I am looking forward to bringing my experience and expertise to deliver more game changing innovation in Morocco and beyond. In our Industry and especially in an African context, it makes a lot of sense to continue growing with a large player. Morocco is a gateway into North Africa and I am confident that we can unlock new value and drive further transformation across the board”.
Yassine Haddaoui, Head of CDG Invest said, “KIFAL Auto is a great example of the real change that innovation and a focus on value creation is driving across Africa today. Nizar and his team have shown a lot of passion, vision and entrepreneurial spirit to drive the success the company has seen to date and we are confident that this success will continue as they join the Autochek family.”
Nizar and the KIFAL Auto team will join Autochek and continue to explore new opportunities to deliver solutions to drive positive change in the automotive industry in Morocco and beyond.