Wasoko is a startup that connects small shops to the e-commerce industry. The company intends to help entrepreneurs in emerging markets connect with the digital world, increase sales and gain market coverage. It's a transformative company that is out to change the world. Wasoko is making the news with its recent influx of investor funding. Its a champion of informal retailers who need a reliable source for ordering and receiving products for same-day delivery to their establishments. If you're not yet familiar with this company that is out to change the world, here are 20 things you probably didn't know about Wasoko.
1. Wasoko is an established organization
According to Crunchbase, Wasoko has been in operation for a few years. The startup officially launched in 2013. It took a few years to launch its operations. It's been in business for nine years. In that time, it has grown and prospered, moving closer to reaching its goal of opening up e-commerce to emerging markets in need of digital connection to the large economies of the world. It's been around long enough to have a solid financial footing.
2. Wasoko is a transforsmative company
Wasoko is a game-changer for small companies in emerging markets. It's a problem-solvers that provides small stores and shops with reliable connections to vendors selling products and supplies the businesses need to produce their products. The previous networks connecting them to suppliers were spotty. Deliveries of goods ordered were unreliable. Thanks to Wasoko, the connections with suppliers are improving with the convenience of SMS and mobile phone ordering and same-day or one-day deliveries becoming the norm instead of the exception for store owners. Wasoko is a transformative company that improves the landscape for small businesses in emerging markets.
3. Wasoko is listed across five industries
Internet classification of businesses for search purposes lists Wasoko across five different industry sectors. It is a unique and versatile organization that caters to clients in the Consumer Goods market. It streamlines connections for companies in Emerging Markets. Additionally, Wasoko provides technological networks that increase sales. They provide Logistics and Supply Chain Management tools. Wasoko seeks to provide reliable network connections for small shops that otherwise would not be able to connect to larger markets through services and products within these five industries.
4. Wasoko is an international organization
Wasoko is the result of the efforts of co-founders Daniel Yu, David Jaress, and Josh Raine. The three established their operation in Chicago, Illinois. Their goal is to address the needs of emerging markets in West African countries. The organization is also based in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an American-West African startup with plans to expand further into Africa's emerging markets.
5. Wasoko uses a complex array of technologies to power its website
Wasoko offers products and services through an online platform. Small businesses may subscribe and download the apps from the Wasoko website. The website actively uses fifty-two technologies to ensure that visitors and users have a smooth and seamless experience. These technologies get distributed across nine technology products and services. Some include Viewport Meta, iPhone Mobile Compatible, SPF, HTML5, Google Fonts, Google Analytics, and others.
6. Wasoko's tech downloads are growing
The monthly download growth rate continues to climb for Wasoko's tech products. Over the past thirty days, 432 downloads occurred. The number represents a monthly download growth of 2.86 percent. Wasoko offers three popular apps. These are Sokowatch, Wasoko Customer Care, and Wasoko Agent. The apps get downloaded via Google play.
7. Wasoko maintains uniqueness against its competitors
Wasoko is a unique company that stands out from other similar businesses. The startup has ensured it will stand out in the market by securing one registered trademark in the scientific and electric apparatus and instruments category. The trademark gives Wasoko sole legal rights to use the protected intellectual property, and it guards against any competitors infringing on its properties.
8. Interest in Wasoko is growing
The analytics data collected for the Wasoko website shows that the number of monthly visits to the website is increasing. Over the past thirty days, the total number of monthly visits to the site was 9,836. The figures represent a monthly visits growth rate of 818.39 percent over the past month. Wasoko is ranked number 1,289,119 of the millions of websites registered.
9. Wasoko is the most popular in the United Kingdom
Although Wasoko is in Chicago, Illinois, and Kenya, it is getting more attention from visitors outside of these two countries. Interest is growing in the United Kingdom. Forty-three percent of the monthly visits are from people logging in from this country. The number represents a monthly website visits growth rate of 1,138.26 percent from the United Kingdom. Twenty-nine percent of the visitors are from India. Eighteen percent of visitors are from Kenya, with a monthly visits growth of 143.66 percent. Six percent is from Mauritius, and two percent is from Senegal.
10. Wasoko has a small executive leadership team
The executive leadership team at Wasoko is composed of eight members. Daniel Yu is a co-founder and serves as the chief executive officer. Josh Raines is a co-founder and chief operations officer. David Jaress is a co-founder and chief technology officer. The three co-founders are also leading executives in the organization. David Akello Marika is the operations manager. Benson Shiundu is the product manager. Kevin Lorenz is the global head of product. Veronicah Aluoch is the head of customer care representative. Kwehnui Tawah is the head of platform services + special projects.
11. Wasoko has three members on its board of directors
The board of directors for Wasoko is composed of three members. Monica Brand Engel joined the board as a member in February 2020 She is a co-founder and managing partner for Quona Capital. She has founded one organization and currently serves on six boards of directors in advisory roles. Sujeet Kumar joined the boar on March 16, 2022. He is a co-founder of Udaan with thirty-seven portfolio companies and one exit. The third member of the board of directors for Wasoko is Peter Orth. He has founded one organization and currently serves on three boards of directors in advisory roles.
12. Wasoko is a venture capital-backed organization
Wasoko has participated in ten rounds of venture capital fundraising. The most recent round of Series B fundraising closed on March 16, 2022. The total amount raised to date is $143.6 million. Wasoko's latest fundraising round brought in an additional $125 million from investors. The Series B round is the biggest investment round for Wasoko so far.
13. Investor confidence in Wasoko is high
Wasoko has been in business for nine years. Until recently, investors put less than $20 million in funds into the company. Something happened to increase investor interest and confidence in the company, as proven by the large investment recently made. Wasoko has twenty-six investors with five of them serving as lead investors. The most recent investors to join the fundraising efforts are Binny Bansal and Avenir Growth Capital. These wealthy investment firms are joined by 4DX Ventures with Peter Orth on the board representing the interests of the investor, Quona Capital, Tiger Global Management, a lead investor, Golden Palm Investments, JAM Fund, VNV Global, and several others. Recent data provided by Wasoko piqued the interest of several investors who are confident that Wasoko will continue to grow and expand, providing them with a strong return on the investment dollars they put into the company.
14. Wasoko is a rebranded company
When Wasoko became an official business, it was founded under a different name. The legal name of the company is Sokowatch Inc. It is also known as Reliefwatch and Sokowatch. The owners changed the name from Sokowatch to Wasoko to reflect its mission as a company that is for the people. The literal translation of the name of the company is "people of the market." The new name more precisely describes the business and its goals, according to Techcrunch.
15. Wasoko is a complex organization
Wasoko's leaders are not afraid to wade into the complexities of providing technologies to countries where networks have been sketchy at best. There is a lot of work to be done in the African countries the company targets for development. Wasoko has organized a network of logistics drivers to ensure that business owners can obtain fast and reliable delivery of their orders with same-day speed and efficiency. Wasoko has set up an infrastructure for logistics and supply chain management that serves retailers from Senegal, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania. They're fixing a system that was previously underdeveloped.
16. Wasoko offers a financing program for shops
Small business owners may apply for a financing service through Wasoko. The company now offers entrepreneurs a financial solution that they call a buy now, pay later, as an option. The program provides small shop owners with working capital to increase the number of goods they order. It's a B2B retail and e-commerce based service to help companies grow and expand their operations. It puts working capital in the hands of the retailers. Instead of going through third-party financing companies, Wasoko has kept the financing system in-house and administers the program through its company books. The company is currently the sole provider for these options, but they are looking at the possibility of expanding financing of the BNPL programs through other options that Yu has not yet specified.
17. Wasoko has had its challenges
Wasoko's entry into the African emerging markets has not been an easy endeavor. The harsh realities of business in these countries have presented multiple challenges to overcome. The growth in Nigeria has been volatile from time to time, often in the negative. The macro-environment affecting currency, the economy, and other aspects of business, compounded with changing regulations have not made it easy for Wasoko to accomplish its objectives. The Nigerian situation stands as an example of what the company encounters in most of the countries it offers services. Setting up logistics and supply chain management systems in countries with varying regulatory environments means a lot of research and negotiation to set up the networks necessary to serve mom-and-pop establishments within each country.
18. Wasoko is currently hiring
Wasoko is currently hiring under the Sokowatch company banner. Breezy lists dozens of new jobs posted for various positions throughout the world. The company is hiring bookkeepers, warehouse operators, delivery agents, financial services associates, sales team leaders, dispatch assistants, procurement associates, and more. They're hiring in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, India, Rwanda, Zambia, and numerous other countries.
19. Wasoko is a privately held organization
Wasoko's founders and co-owners have kept the business as a privately owned business. You won't find Wasoko shares of stock listed on any of the public stock exchanges because they've not yet filed for an IPO. Our research has not turned up any indication of plans to take Wasoko public in the foreseeable future. The business is thriving under its current investor funding platform and does not need to go the public entity route as of yet.
20. Wasoko is a business to keep your eye on
Wasoko has been in business for nine years and it is just starting to come into its own. Much of the early work was in preparation for the complex networking that we're now seeing through the organization. It's launching logistics, financing, and supply-chain management throughout parts of Africa and is currently undergoing a period of rapid expansion. Thanks to Wasoko, small businesses will have better opportunities to procure the supplies necessary to grow their businesses and expand. The potential for Wasoko to positively affect the economies in these countries is immense. Wasoko is a transformative organization that has the potential to serve as a major disruptor to the status quo of economies within the regions its serves. The playing field has been wide open in these nations, and Wasoko offers the solutions to the problems holding small businesses back.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee