Copia Global

Meet Africa’s Fastest-Growing E-Commerce Platform Copia


Dec. 22, 2022, 8:44 p.m.

Let’s end the year on a positive note with a tech success story!

Tim Steel is the CEO of Copia, an e-commerce platform operating in Kenya and Uganda which has raised a total of $83m in equity funding since its launch in 2013.

Under his watch, Copia has expanded to the Central, Rift and Western regions of Kenya, entered the Ugandan market in 2021, and won an industry award for the fastest-growing e-commerce company in Africa this year.

“Across Africa, there are 800 million people who currently have no access to e-commerce services. We see them as our primary market,” he says.

But e-commerce usually comes with great challenges on the African continent. Low internet bandwidth, limited addresses in rural areas and poor access to payment solutions in some countries are impeding the possibility to replicate an Amazon-style business.

But Copia claims to work differently. With a network of more than 40,000 agent resellers, the platform uses a mix of offline and online tools to deliver to its 400,000 monthly customers.

“We often refer to our agents as our ‘lifeblood’, as they can collect orders on our behalf as well as act as delivery points for our customers,” says Steel.

“By partnering with us, our agents can unlock a world of goods for their customers, and they earn commissions on each sale. We fulfil and offer free delivery of the orders to them within 1-2 days.”

The firm recently layered fintech services into its e-commerce foundation and partnered with mobile money providers to enable customers to pay for goods in real time.

“We are also currently working on a framework through which we can digitise our agents and customers by offering credit towards purchases of relevant tools such as smartphones so they can access our e-commerce services,” says Steel.

Do you have an article that can be relevant to the African Tech space?

Submit your news stories, articles or press releases to


Last August, Copia opened its second manufacturing line to produce its own-brand sugar and rice, sourced from local suppliers in Kenya.

“At the same time, we are also seeing significant interest and growth in areas like construction and agriculture, as our customers look for more affordable and accessible options for both segments. In line with this demand, we recently launched a Farming Division that builds on the insight that the agricultural sector is currently underserved in the supply of farming inputs and services,” says Steel.

However, Copia is not rushing it. Steel wants to grow carefully and plans to develop the company’s new activities in Kenya and Uganda before expanding to other markets.

“We are seeing vast growth across both countries and have embarked on an ambitious expansion plan to ensure that our agents get even closer to our customers in the peri-urban and rural areas for both countries,” he says.


tag: Entrepreneurship, Copia Global, ecommerce, Business, Startup, Uganda, Kenya, Entrepreneurs,

Tech54 Source