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B2B platform Wasoko makes its move into the Southern African market

By our News Team | 2023

Zambia is the first regional location, as founder Daniel Yu looks to increase the company’s rapidly growing footprint across the continent. 

Wasoko, the Kenyan-based B2B e-commerce company, has confirmed its expansion into the Southern African market, with its first stop being Zambia.

The company already has operations that serve retailers in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal.

E-Commerce

Photo courtesy of Wasoko

Initially, Wasoko’s strategy is to invest US$1-million this year in a WHAT? Located in the Zambian capital of Lusaka. Thereafter, it has other Southern African markets in its sights.

“Very excited to share Wasoko’s launch in Zambia, which marks our first expansion into Southern Africa, Wasoko CEO and Founder, Daniel Yu, said in a social media post. 

“I believe Zambia has one of the continent’s strongest trajectories for economic growth this decade under President Hichilema, who has rapidly reformed the country’s business and investment environment since his election in 2021. 

Uplifting local retailers through e-commerce

“We look forward to uplifting thousands of local retailers across Zambia through the power of e-commerce.”

Yu, who is from the US, founded the company – formerly known as Sokowatch – in 2014 in Kenya. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength and attracted major international investment, including US$125-million in March last year. 

Wasoko concentrates on the B2B space, with its focus being a mobile app that enables small retailers to buy goods from manufacturers and distributors at competitive prices based on supply and demand. These retailers can also receive real-time tracking data on sales, business insights and market trends.

Discussing the choice of Zambia as his initial regional location, Yu added: “With high smartphone usage and a pro-business government administration keen on expanding the country’s digital economy, Zambia is an ideal environment to launch our model and strongly aligns with our current core markets, both in terms of similar regulatory practices and a supplier base that is intertwined with East Africa.”

Wasoko has a network of more than 200,000 informal retailers and has plans to double its service radius in its locations in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda.

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    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
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    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

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    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
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