Business & Startups

Proxalys making inroads in the B2B Commerce sector in Francophone Africa – Startupbootcamp

The informal sector in Africa continues to be underserved despite the heavy reliance of populations on these service providers for their daily food needs. Companies like Wasoko, Marketforce and Trade Depot have raised millions of dollars to solve for this in countries like Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. In Francophone Africa, Senegalese startup Proxalys has built a platform that empowers informal traders and digitizes the entire value chain while improving supply chain processes.

Founded by banker Thierno Sakho, Proxalys is designed to improve the operation of mom-and-pop shops. The company has introduced a Buy Now Pay Later model providing physical products and financial assistance. Payback timelines range from 7 days to a month and this enables retailers to earn more and scale faster.

Proxalys’ focus is to ease the financial and supply chain burden that stifles growth and for them to do that they have had to find solutions to ensure that logistics and the storage of goods are secured. In November, the company secured a US$150,000 pre-seed investment from Haskè Ventures, a venture builder based in Dakar as well as a $50,000 investment from a venture-debt investor in Senegal. They were able to build their supply chain infrastructure with these funds and they have a team of 25 reaching 1,000 active users.

The informal retailer ecosystem in Senegal is dominated by people from Guinea-Conakry as well as women and these are the main clients that Proxalys has in its portfolio. This has opened doors for the company to scale into other Francophone countries like DRC and Ivory Coast, Mali, and Guinea Conakry. Kinshasa is the biggest city in Francophone Africa with a population of 50 million and the economy is informal. This is where Proxalys has the best value addition opportunity as they look to digitize economies and informal retailers.

“The goal is to show that our markets offer great potential of return, “says Proxalys CEO Sakho. “We want more and more investors to see Francophone Africa as the next frontier market and we are positioning ourselves as first-movers.”

It is exciting to see what the future of tech and entrepreneurship has in store for Francophone Africa.

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