TradeDepot, the leading B2B eCommerce and embedded finance platform in Africa, has appointed former Coca Cola HBC and Hayat Kimya Nigeria Executive, Chidi Akubuiro as its Managing Director for English-speaking West Africa. Effective from May 1st 2022, Akubuiro will lead further expansion of TradeDepot’s services across more key cities in Nigeria and Ghana, and drive growth across English-speaking West Africa.
Akubuiro comes into the role with extensive experience in the FMCG sector, having spent over a decade leading and delivering commercial success for some of the most in-demand consumer goods brands on the continent. Before joining TradeDepot as Commercial Director in July 2020, Akubuiro had previous roles at FMCG manufacturer Hayat Kimya Nigeria and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, where he designed, oversaw and supported the implementation of various sales and growth strategies to drive revenue and meet sales objectives. This experience will be leveraged to deepen relationships with key stakeholders in the retail sector and drive profitability in TradeDepot’s commercial operations.
In recent years, TradeDepot has built a reputation as the supply partner for Africa’s retail ecosystem, leveraging its data, technology and robust logistics operations to get consumer goods from leading manufacturers into the hands of retailers that can sell them. Via its ShopTopUp platform, the company also provides credit lines to fund inventory purchases for retailers, enabling increased sales, higher margins and other value-added services for all parties.
With active operations in 15 key cities across Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, and an innovative merchant platform, TradeDepot takes the pressure off everyone else in the retail value chain by making it easier for manufacturers and distributors to get their products into more than 100,000 retail stores, and for retailers to access the inventory and financial services they need to run successful businesses.
According to Onyekachi Izukanne, CEO and co-founder of TradeDepot, “Chidi brings a wealth of experience that will be invaluable on our mission to make life easier for retailers across Africa. In his short time with us, he has made many valuable contributions that have put us in a stronger position to achieve our objectives. I am looking forward to working more closely with him to drive more success and profitability across the board.”
Chidi Akubuiro, Managing Director for West Africa (English-speaking) at TradeDepot, said, “TradeDepot has been at the cutting edge of innovation in Africa’s retail space for a long time. And I am thrilled by the opportunity to support the delivery of more prosperity across the value chain. Our ecosystem is ripe with opportunities and I am confident that we can continue to deliver the solutions to realise these opportunities.”
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.