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Nigerian B2B E-commerce Startup Secures $10.5 Million Series A To Empower Informal Retailers

Startups

Aug. 23, 2021, 12:11 p.m.

Alerzo, a Nigerian B2B e-commerce retail startup has secured a $10.5 million Series A round led by London-based Nosara Capital. There was participation also from FJ Labs and several family offices from the U.S., Europe, and Asia, including Michael Novogratz’s.

In total, Alerzo has raised more than $20 million since its launch. Early investors include the Baobab Network, an Africa-focused accelerator based in London, and Signal Hill, a Singapore-based fund manager that participated in its $5.5 million seed round last year. The company also said it closed a $2.5 million working capital facility to serve its customers.

Founded by Adewale Opaleye in 2018, Alerzo serves as a delivery platform that enables direct delivery of goods from manufacturers down to retailers. It officially launched in 2019 as an e-Commerce aimed at helping local and small retailers in Southwest Nigeria stock inventories quicker and efficiently.

According to the founder, Alerzo was set up to empower the millions of women who are the backbone of consumer commerce in Nigeria’s $100 billion informal retail sector.

The need to solve this problem stemmed from observing firsthand the challenges his mom faced while operating two mom-and-pop stores.

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“Growing up in Ibadan, I watched my mother operate two informal retail stores to raise my three siblings and me. Seeing the many challenges she faced running her stores, and I decided to start a business that uniquely catered to the needs of retailers just like her,” he told TechCrunch in an interview.

Alerzo now has a network of up to 100,000 small businesses, 90% of which are owned by women. The startup also claims it is currently an exclusive platform serving some of the major cities in Southwest Nigeria like Ibadan, Ekiti, and Abeokuta, to name a few, and has so far processed 1 million orders.

The proceeds from this Series A round will be used to expand geographically to northern Nigeria. Alerzo also plans to launch AlerzoPay, the company’s cashless payments, and lending platform, as well as a portfolio of new business support services.

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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