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HomeMisc NewsTech NewsNigerian e-commerce start-up, Omnibiz signs up major firms

Nigerian e-commerce start-up, Omnibiz signs up major firms

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Nigeria’s biggest consumer-goods companies have signed an agreement with e-commerce platform Omnibiz to boost sales and curb costs after Covid-19 lockdowns and smartphone use triggered a boom in online trade.

Omnibiz, a Lagos-based start-up, has signed up more than 12 firms operating in the country — including Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark, Nigerian Breweries, AB InBev, Indomie, Arla and Pepsi’s 7up Bottling Company. They will use the start-up’s platform, which helps firms track sales from distributors to retailers.

Transactions on the firm’s Mplify product have hit $360 million, Omnibiz CEO Deepankar Rustagi said in an interview in Lagos. “The target is to grow it to $600 million by next year,” he said.

The opportunity for Omnibiz is to digitise the $1.2 billion annual local revenue of its new clients. That is about 3 per cent of Nigeria’s total fresh produce and packaged foods market, which is worth about $41 billion, according to data from KPMG.

Last year, Omnibiz raised $3 million in seed funding. The company plans to raise about $12 million more this year to further develop its software and expand into about five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the CEO.

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In Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation, products are typically distributed physically, passing through informal or traditional channels such as warehouses, markets, malls and kiosks.

The coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns caused a shift not only in distribution but in how people worked, learnt and more importantly shopped: going online.

E-commerce platform Jumia Technologies, which has Nigeria as its biggest market, reported a 40 per cent increase in total orders and 29 per cent jump inactive users in the 12 months to December across Africa.

The pandemic also opened an opportunity for new digital payment apps such as Kippa to enter the consumer digital payment space.

“The manufacturers are making more revenue because they are able to see the movement of their goods and can increase the supply at a lower cost,” said Rustagi. “We are in the business of making retail simple.”

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