Kenya’s B2B E-commerce startup Wasoko expands to Zambia


Kenyan B2B e-commerce startup Wasoko has announced plans to invest more than $1 million in Zambia.

The B2B retail and e-commerce company has made this announcement marking its official entry into South Africa.

The company said the investment will cover the first year of operation to help Zambia’s local businesses and communities obtain more essential goods at lower costs through e-commerce opportunities.

By launching a central hub in Lusaka, Wasoko’s operations will enable small retailers in the city to access affordable merchandise with same-day delivery and working capital financing all through a convenient mobile app.

Establishing Lusaka as a central hub is also part of Wasoko’s company-wide pivot to a hub-and-spoke logistics network to improve operational efficiency and significantly increase capacity for faster regional deployment.

Speaking on the launch, Daniel Yu, Founder and Global CEO at Wasoko, said, “As we drive ahead with the next phase of our growth journey, it’s vital that the operating environments of our future markets are conducive to our ambitions and Zambia provides exactly this. With high smartphone usage and a pro-business government administration keen on expanding the country’s digital economy, Zambia is an ideal environment to launch our model and strongly aligns with our current core markets, both in terms of similar regulatory practices and a supplier base which is intertwined with East Africa.”

“With this in mind, we’re confident that our new launch will not only play a huge role in accelerating our existing progress across the continent but also significantly strengthen the purchasing power of everyday citizens in Zambia and enhance their livelihoods in the process.”

Wasoko has doubled its service reach across its existing locations in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. It has built a massive network of over 200,000 one-time resellers and delivered over 5 million orders to date. Wasoko also raised a $125 million Series B round in March 2022.

However, despite its importance, the sector remains highly fragmented and inefficient, with local shops facing a number of significant challenges, including frequent stock-outs, limited access to finance and difficulties in receiving goods from suppliers.

With the Wasoko mobile app, store owners can purchase products from manufacturers and distributors at competitive prices based on supply and demand, and receive real-time tracking data on sales, business insights and market trends.

The platform also creates a complete logistics process across multiple domains, including sourcing, distribution, financing and technology, enabling Wasoko to offer best-in-class execution and merchant engagement.