KENYA – Kenyan startup Duhqa, a B2B platform for retail distribution of consumer goods in FMCG, Cold Chain and Pharmaceuticals, has closed a US$2 million Seed round to scale its service offering within Kenya and East Africa.
The funding round saw participation from CrosssFund, Roselake Ventures, and Mo Angels. It also featured existing investors which include Techstars and strategic angels.
Duhqa, which operated in stealth mode for much of last year and later joined Techstars during the accelerator’s October 2021 batch (the first time for a Kenyan startup), have now closed a seed round, seven months after raising US$ 150,000 in pre-seed funding last year.
With a team of 40 now operating an asset-light strategy, Duhqa plans to increase its size by the end of the year. With the money from this round of fundraising, Duhqa wants to expand its merchant network and provide more digital tools to its expanding markets.
Founded in 2021 by Victor Maina, Davis Angwenyi and Dudu Moilwa, Duhqa is a B2B retail tech platform that empowers informal African merchants to digitally source and pay for inventory, get delivery conveniently and access short-term financing. This approach maximizes efficiency across the sales and supply distribution chain.
Its platform optimizes the informal microstores called “Dukas” in Kenya by connecting them to manufacturers and has onboarded over 5,000 merchants so far.
“CrossFund is proud to be investing in Duhqa as they grow across Eastern Africa. Victor and team have shown that they understand the market, its pain points, and how to best deliver daily necessities to the local communities that need them most,” Ben, the co-founder of CrossFund said.
“We look forward to supporting Duhqa in scaling their logistics capabilities so that they can widen their impact and continue improving the quality of life of everyday people.”
With this round of funding, Duhqa plans to develop existing markets, and avail more tech tools to its growing merchant network. Duhqa runs an asset-light model currently with a team of 40, and intends to triple its size before the end of the year.
“Our goal is to address the gaps in African distribution logistics with the best in Logistics, e-commerce, financing and data insights which are needed to build a better, leaner African distribution sector,” said Victor Maina the CEO & Founder.
“The significant demand for our solution, an improved way for companies to distribute their goods and services to mass markets in Africa has caught on.
“We are thrilled to get a boost from returning and new investors at this crucial time. This will enable us to continue making it easier for retailers to trade by connecting them to manufacturers and give them the resources to be efficient.”
The Kenya startup is asset-light and doesn’t own vehicles or warehouses but works with third-party logistics providers. Suppliers using the platform have dashboards to see delivery locations for their products, check key performance indicators and book merchandising.
They can also advertise and run marketing campaigns at shops, perform product giveaways and tap into merchandising revenue.