Startups Profile

Sokowatch: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds

Sokowatch: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds

Wasoko (which used to be called Sokowatch) delivers goods on demand to small stores in informal urban areas. These small shops do ninety percent of all sales of consumer goods in Africa. 

It is also an on-demand inventory service platform for small retail stores that are being made to change how ordering and delivery work with mobile payments and communication. Using the company’s platform, multinationals can use a data-driven distribution network that targets the informal sector to sell more and reach more people in developing areas.

Wasoko changes access to important goods and services by connecting small businesses to the digital economy. In developing markets, it helps to sell more and gets deeper into the market. 

Therefore, informal sellers can now order items anytime via SMS or a mobile app and get them delivered for free the same day. By making it easy for retailers and customers, manufacturers can ensure that their products are always in stock.

Wasoko wants to be a one-stop shop for retailers, so they don’t have to deal with wholesalers or banks.

Thousands of merchants use Wasoko’s mobile ordering and delivery service in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda to get their customers the things they need quickly and cheaply.

The main problem these shops have is that they can’t find cheap things. Orders placed through the Sokowatch mobile app or by making toll-free SMS/Calls are sent right away to a Sokowatch delivery person driving a small truck in the area where the order needs to be delivered. On average, deliveries take three hours, making profit through deals with manufacturers and higher retail prices for each product.

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The Technology Used

According to BuiltWith, Wasoko’s website now uses 80 technologies, including Domain Not Resolving, Global Site Tag, and reCAPTCHA, among others.

Wasoko also uses 10 other tech products and services besides Google Analytics, jQuery, and HTML5.

Founders

Daniel Yu

Daniel Yu started and ran Wasoko. He used to work as a Faculty Coach at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Daniel lived at the University of Chicago.

He is an entrepreneur and a software engineer who has lived in and visited over 65 countries during his career. He has also spent most of his time in developing and transitional countries (East Africa, the Middle East, Central America, Brazil, Southeast Asia, and China).

According to him, starting new tech-based businesses requires a strong network of contacts and an understanding of different cultures. People fluently speak Mandarin, Swahili, Arabic, Spanish, Cantonese, Portuguese, and French. At the same time, others speak English as their first language.

Josh Raine 

Josh Raine is the co-founder and the deputy CEO of Wasoko. He acquired his BS in Management from Ithaca College.

Additionally, he achieved his MA in political science (International Relations) from The American University in Cairo.

He knows a lot about the informal sector’s retail business, technology, new ideas, and financial services.

Investors & Funding Rounds

There are 29 investors in Wasoko, including 4DX Ventures, Village Global Lynette Capital, Golden Palm Investments, and Outlierz Ventures. 

The most recent investors are Avenir Growth Capital and Binny Bansal.

Wasoko has raised $143.6 million through 11 investment rounds. On March 16, 2022, they got money from Series B.

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It recently invested in Tushop with a Pre-Seed Round worth $3 million.

Competitors

Xpressbees: This company is a logistics supplier for online retailers and provides customized rapid shipping options.

Oorjaa: It provides solutions for logistics that are effective and are based on the most recent technological developments.

iMile: This company does logistics and delivery work in the Middle East.

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