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Tendo, a Ghanaian e-commerce business launched in Nigeria with major financing

Tendo, a Ghanaian company that allows anybody to sell online with no upfront inventory, has debuted in Nigeria, thanks to the support of industry heavyweights including Catalyst Fund, Google, and Y Combinator.

Tendo is a smartphone app that links dropshippers with local wholesalers. It was launched last year. Sellers on the network may use social commerce technologies like WhatsApp to source things and resell them, as well as organise delivery and be paid, all using the Tendo app.

“At the moment, people who want to sell online need to save money, visit hundreds of suppliers to find a trusted one, and risk losing their capital by stocking up inventory. Beyond this, they need to incur costs for logistics and warehousing. We eliminate all that,” Felix Manford, the startup’s co-founder and CEO, told as per reports.

The company currently has tens of thousands of merchants in Ghana, and it has now expanded to Nigeria. Tendo was able to do so thanks to investment from the Google Black Founders’ Fund, LoftyInc Capital Management, and Plug and Play Ventures, as well as participation in the Y Combinator W22 accelerator and Catalyst Fund’s inclusive digital commerce programme.

All of this accomplishment can be traced back to a pivot. Manford and the Tendo team first created Hashfyre, an influencer marketing platform that allows young social media users to earn money by collaborating with clients on micro-influencer campaigns.

“As we built our community, we realised most of our users had more interest in starting a business but struggled to raise initial capital. We also learned that social media had become the preferred shopping channel for many consumers in Africa – an estimated 32 percent of all e-commerce in Africa was happening on Facebook,” Manford said.

“We initially launched Tendo and distributed products through WhatsApp groups. We also used spreadsheets to manage and track orders.”

Not anymore, according to Tendo’s excellent development trajectory, which is addressing African customers’ lack of confidence in online buying.

“Consumers here trust people they know, not brands – and they make purchase decisions based on this. This social experience is however missing on many traditional e-commerce platforms in Africa,” said Manford.

“To address that deficit Tendo leverages on social networks of individuals and the platform leans in on the existing consumer behaviour. Tendo is shaping digital commerce in Africa by putting selling power in the hands of everyday users. Anyone can become an entrepreneur.”

Tendo operates on a marketplace basis, with a portion of all orders handled on the site going to the company. Suppliers may also pay for ad spots on the app to increase product visibility. Manford stated that sales were slowly increasing, with the startup’s main issue being to provide economical and dependable last-mile deliveries.

“However, over the past months, we’ve been able to refine our process and secure better partnerships that have provided us with significant cost savings which our sellers have benefited from,” he said.




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