Goodwell, the pioneering investment firm whose focus is in fintech, financial inclusion and growth in firms providing essential goods and services has invested $2million into Copia, a Kenyan e-commerce venture. Copia makes it easier for underserved consumers to order and receive products.
Copia launched in 2013, and it combines technology and local agents to offer products in an efficient and reliable delivery channel in rural households. The firm aims to provide a stress-free shopping experience with impeccable customer service by engaging with the customers.
The aim is to deliver to underserved clients the convenience and opportunity to have goods delivered to them through a digital network of Agents who are located close to their homes.
How Copia works
The process of ordering is not lengthy. The customer first visits the nearest Copia Agent, they then select the items they want from a catalog and then pay the Agent. After paying, the Agent will then send the order to Copia through the phone and wait for the delivery of the chosen items. Usually, Copia takes 2-4 days to deliver. Once the goods arrive, the client can now come and pick the products from the Agent.
The Agent places the order using the Copia App, or through SMS then the Agent makes payment using mobile money. Both the Agent and the customer will then receive order confirmation through SMS. The order processing is then fulfilled through a custom-designed ERP.
Although it’s natural to develop issues with your PC such as Windows failing when ordering things online, the Copia App is mobile-friendly which lets you order fast.
In the acquisition, Goodwell acquired an undisclosed stake in the company worth $2million through the uMunthu fund. The company invests up to 50 percent of its funds in inclusive businesses that operate in sectors other than financial inclusion.
The goal of the uMunthu fund is providing finances to companies that offer goods and services to underdeveloped areas. Its objective is to stir growth and help improve the outreach of inclusive businesses that are involved with services such as agriculture, health, energy, water and so on but has a strong focus on the digital economy.
Copia’s service currently covers around 22 percent of Kenya, Goodwell was positive and believes there is room for growth in the country and even in emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Copia sells products in sectors such as household, energy, food, farm, health, construction, beauty, electronics, and baby products. Their customers are over 150,000 in rural areas. The firm understands that there are people who live in areas where they have no access to supermarkets or any formal retail which is why they bridge the gap.
Even as they majorly make access of products easier, they also educate their consumers on new products as they help them get connected to the global economy.
What stands out is they assure clients of quality products from reputable manufacturers, save on transportation costs, affordable product prices and a variety of products to choose from.
How does Copia help the Agents?
Copia Agents are business people who operate small retail outlets such as low-level salons and shops. The Agents then sensitize potential clients about Copia and the available products and discounts. In return, the Agents will then get a commission averaging 37%. This added income helps them make financial milestones and move from struggling financially to getting extra income. They are over 3,000 all over the country.
Copia aims to help motivate the Agents. The Copia Business Advisors train the Agents and offer tips on how to increase sales as well as traffic to their stores. More clients mean more commission for them.
With plans to expand, the firm intends to expand in five years. The advantage of the firm is that it cuts out intermediaries which is an advantage to suppliers since they access clients directly.