Kenya’s MarketForce 360, a field sales and distribution automation software and a subsidiary of Mesozi Group, has raised $350,000 seed investment to unlock new revenue streams and build the team’s capacity in East Africa.
MarketForce 360 enables consumer brands to optimize how they deliver essential goods and services to retailers and consumers by bridging the information gap in last mile distribution, while maximizing efficiency across the sales and distribution value chain.
In a statement, Tesh Mbaabu, Co-Founder and CEO of MarketForce 360, said, “2020 has been an incredibly important year for us. After two bootstrapped years of R&D, building the product, and testing across various industries, we are ready to take in external capital. Initial customers love our product, so we are ready to aggressively grow our customer base as we make an impact in the expansive African retail and distribution economy. We are focused on supporting our clients to sell more during this difficult time and plan to raise additional capital within the year to support our efforts.”
The seed round was from a group of strong Kenyan angel investors through ViKtoria Business Angels Network(VBAN), alongside Growing Africa Capital and global VCs.
MarketForce 360 leverages on the power and availability of mobile devices to enable both employed and independent field agents to record all customer interactions as they happen in the field, from taking orders and feedback to managing deliveries and payments; and will soon be allowing retail outlets to order and pay for goods directly from their nearest supplier, whenever they need them.
MarketForce 360 then aggregates the data collected in the field and presents it through live web dashboards, where manufacturers, distributors and service providers are able to easily and effectively monitor and analyze their distribution channels; enabling them to estimate demand and tailor their sales, distribution and marketing efforts based on real-time market trends and consumer purchasing habits. This enables them to harness the potential of the African market like never before.
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“MarketForce 360 is the first of its kind, end to end sales and distribution automation platform offering ‘Technology as a Service’ that is in use across the entire value chain for various industries; from the manufacturers, to distributors, wholesalers, retailers and field sales agents. This not only unifies the fragmented retail economy, but also allows for easier integration of third party solutions for value added services like retail audit, point of sale, logistics and retailer financing.”, added Mesongo Sibuti, MarketForce 360 Co-Founder and CTO.
Jason Musyoka, VBAN Manager said: “We believe that the highly fragmented African retail and distribution value chain is primed for disruption. The analytics from such platforms will be instrumental in defining route optimization hence bringing goods to as close as possible to the highly-expectant, globally-aware African consumer market. The team at Mesozi has proven to be capable of delivering the product and eager to exploit the opportunities the sector presents.” .
MarketForce 360 is building a suite of solutions that address an African economy where over 90% of the goods and services consumed are sold through an informal network of over 15 million retail outlets and millions of field agents.
“We’re passionate about investing in businesses that have entrepreneurs with a track record, as well as, scalable solutions that solve real problems. We’re excited to join Mesozi on this journey of automation,” says Thuku wa Thuku, Director, Growing Africa Capital.
The firm says the funding will help it continue on its mission to build the most comprehensive field sales and distribution platform for emerging markets. It’s open to strategic partnerships with companies that are as keen to innovate and serve the African consumer better.
“With this investment, we’re able to accelerate our roadmap and place our product in the hands of thousands of more daily active users,” the firm announced.