Startup that eases e-commerce distribution process attracts attention
By our News Team | 2022
Nigerian-based Omnibiz is attracting seed funding and some of the world’s biggest brands to its innovative platform.
Omnibiz, a Lagos-based startup that facilitates e-commerce and supply chain transactions in the Nigerian and Ivory Coast markets, is making waves by attracting international seed funding and a host of the world’s biggest brands as customers.
The company was recently profiled by Bloomberg, the worldwide financial news service, for attracting high-profile clients such as Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Kimberly Clark, Nigerian Breweries, ABInBev, Indomie, Arla and Pepsi’s 7up Bottling Company.
In essence, Omnibiz’s Mplify platform helps businesses to track and grow sales among FMCG manufacturers, distributors and retailers – both in the formal and informal sectors. The latter is a massive part of the retail scene in Nigeria – around 90% by some estimates.
The Omnibiz e-commerce platform helps simplify distribution in Nigeria’s huge informal retail sector. Photo by Kaizenify via Wikimedia Commons
According to information supplied by the company, it currently has 7,000 users and 220,000+ registered and verified outlets.
“The manufacturers are making more revenue because they are able to see the movement of their goods and can increase the supply at a lower cost,” said Omnibiz CEO, Deepankar Rustagi, in an interview with Bloomberg. “We are in the business of making retail simple.”
He added that transactions on the platform have hit US$360-million and the target is to grow to $600-million by next year.
Nigerian food market worth about $41-billion
“The opportunity for Omnibiz is to digitize the $1.2-billion annual local revenue of its new clients, which makes up about 3% of Nigeria’s total fresh produce and packaged foods market that is worth about $41-billion,” Bloomberg said.
Last year, the company attracted $3-million in seed funding and is now planning to raise around $12-million more in 2022 so that it can expand into several more countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
“I think Omnibiz will be the role model for B2B retail in Africa and can scale well into other emerging markets. We are excited and happy to be supporting Omnibiz in all ways beyond just providing capital,” Raj Kulasingam and Vishal Agarwal of V&R Africa said in a statement following the round of funding last year, in which V&R Africa was one of the leaders.
In a 2021 interview with the website TechCrunch, which reported on the successful seed funding, Rustagi explained the Omnibiz offering thus: “We work with manufacturers to provide visibility. Then buy goods from them and keep them in partner hubs that act as warehouses and distributors. Then, use the services of drivers that work with third-party logistics drivers who get paid on every delivery made.”
He added: “One of the key things we intend to do is to bring on medium-scale manufacturers who find it difficult to get the last-mile delivery to reach customers. We want to scale them so they can reach a large number of retailers. That’s something we are rolling out so we can onboard more and more manufacturers,”
Industry sectors that are, or will be, served by the platform include food, beverages, personal care, baby care, and OTC pharmaceuticals.