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 of US$2 million, seven months after raising US$ 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.
Victor Maina, the CEO and founder, spent almost a decade at DHL Express and at some point led the East and South African region. He has extensive experience in logistics and business in 31 countries in Africa.
After DHL, he moved on to the startup world and launched businesses in various African markets such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria before launching Duhqa.
Under his leadership, Duhqa has seen tremendous growth and won over 5 international awards including Seedstars and Financial times SDG challenge, Unicorn battle of Africa, Wazo challenge East Africa, Entrepreneur of the year from Afric Angels and CX eCommerce awards in Canada
“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 resourcesVictor Maina the CEO & Founder.
to be efficient”
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.
By connecting them to manufacturers, their technology optimizes the unofficial “Dukas” micro stores in Kenya, where over 5,000 merchants have already signed up.
The Nairobi-based firm has few resources, doesn’t own any vehicles or storage facilities, and instead depends on outside transportation providers. Dashboards are available to suppliers using the platform, where they can observe product delivery locations, examine crucial performance metrics, and plan to merchandise.
Additionally, they can use retail spaces for marketing campaigns, product freebies, and merchandising revenue.
What Duhqa partners are saying…
Speaking on the raise, Ben, the co-founder of CrossFund says:
“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. 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.”
Also, Mo Angels spokesman on his comments about the latest investment said.:
“We are excited to join Duhqa as it expands in Kenya and beyond. We have been truly inspired and impressed by its sharp team, and its business model and look forward to helping them along the way to conquering this key link in giving greater access to goods and services to underserved communities.”
Roselake emphasized the growth and potentiality the company has been showing in its understanding of the supply chain industry.
“Duhqa not only has a deep understanding of the supply chain pain points faced by local retailers, but also offers an effective solution to address them. In addition, Duhqa is creating tremendous social value by bridging the gap between retailers and manufacturers to offer affordable daily goods for local communities. We look forward to being a long-term partner of Duhqa’s A-class team and support them to further expand their outreach.”
“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.
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