Kenyan retail-tech startup Wasoko, formerly known as Sokowatch, has expanded into Zambia, marking its entry into Southern Africa.
Founded in 2016, Wasoko offers free same-day delivery of essential goods and financing to informal retail stores in Africa. The platform also allows retailers to place orders through SMS or a mobile app and delivers products through its proprietary logistics network.
Since it launched, Wasoko claims to have delivered over 2.5 million orders to more than 50,000 informal retailers across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ivory Coast, and Senegal. The company secured a $125 million Series B funding round in March last year to support its expansion efforts.
In Zambia, Wasoko plans to invest over $1 million in its first year of operations to provide affordable essential goods to local businesses and communities through e-commerce.
The startup will establish its central hub in Lusaka, enabling small retailers in the city to access a wide range of products for same-day delivery and working capital financing through a mobile app. This move is part of Wasoko's transition to a hub and spoke logistics network, aiming to improve operational efficiency and facilitate faster regional expansions.
In addition to its expansion into Zambia, Wasoko plans to double its service radius in existing locations across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda, where it has built a network of over 200,000 informal retailers and delivered more than 5 million orders to date.