Kenyan startup Tanda, which makes it easier to run a shop by allowing shop owners to order and manage their inventory, has formally launched after a four-month pilot with 200 kiosks spread across Kayole, Kawangware and Kariobangi.
With an undisclosed seed round from White Rhino Ventures, Tanda is launching out of beta after the four-month pilot, having worked with five wholesalers with a large footprint in Nairobi.
The platform makes it easier for shop owners to order all their shop’s inventory and sell digital financial services such as airtime, banking and insurance services.
“Tanda offers the widest product range. We are the fastest online inventory delivery service on the continent and we are the first inventory service to offer an automated credit facility,” said Geoffrey Mulei, Tanda’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO).
“Tanda is the first inventory delivery service to give the retailer the ability to vend digital financial services.”
With Tanda, a shop owner can order all the goods they need for their kiosk and receive free same day delivery, with the added benefit of vending digital financial services. It also comes with inventory management features, giving shop owners a simple way to record all their sales and know how much they are stocking.
Leveraging historical purchasing data, Tanda allows retailers to order goods on credit and pay later. The service is free for retailers, drawing a commission from its network of suppliers on every good ordered by retailers.
Because smartphone penetration isn’t that high among micro-retailers, Tanda’s pilot merchants received a free smartphone to get started. Post-pilot, Tanda has partnered with micro-lending firm Lipa later to get kiosk owners a smartphone that they can pay for over time.
“Our primary market, Kenya, has over 100,000 semi-formal outlets. Our platform will accomodate shop owners across all segments right from informal kiosks in low-income kiosks up to minimarts,” said Mulei. “Tanda will offer its retailers an affordable and reliable platform for sourcing goods, access to financing to help them buy more, sell more and grow their business and more resellable digital financial services such as KPLC tokens on which they can earn commission and lastly, tools that make it easier to manage their business and make critical decisions.”
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