Aruwa Capital Management, an early-stage growth equity and gender lens fund investing in Nigeria and Ghana to announce an investment into OmniRetail, popularly known as OmniBiz (the “Company”), a tech-first B2B e-commerce company that aggregates end-to-end retail operations to help manufacturers, distributors, logistic partners, and retailers achieve their business goals through a seamless supply chain framework and embedded finance.
Founded in 2019, OmniRetail launched as a salesforce automation software Company, used by brands and distributors in the FMCG sector however, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company realised that they are solving only one side of the problem in the retail value chain. With this, they built OmniBiz, an online shop that helps retailers order their stock and have it delivered within 24 hours.
Today, the Company has brought on board leading brands and manufacturers in Africa, simplifying their entire distribution processes with technology and robust operations, and providing them with market insights. OmniRetail now has over 65,000 retailers on its platform providing them seamless access to a large variety of SKUs, order fulfilment, payments and collections, inventory financing, inventory management and business intelligence.
OmniRetail is serving a large and robust retail market in Nigeria and Africa, with over 100 million independent and informal retailers on the continent, trading in excess of $1 trillion in annual sales. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), 90% of retail transactions happen through informal channels. These informal transactions account for 70% of retail transactions in Kenya, 96% in Ghana and 98% in Nigeria.
Retailers usually have to deal with the broken supply chain as the network of distributors, wholesalers and logistics are fragmented and disorganised. This ultimately reduces the potential for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. OmniRetail is addressing this challenge and has grown its technology suite and on-ground operations helping it solve critical problems faced by these players in the distribution value chain in Nigeria and Africa.
OmniRetail’s goal to enable financial inclusion within the entire ecosystem is also underway and the Company has intentionally invested in data and technology to have visibility on the business and cash flow health of its sticky retailer base. Given the Company’s partnerships with multiple banks and POS partners, the OmniPay platform is able to help with seamless payments and also extend working capital finance to retailers based on business information.
OmniRetail has created a unified payment and credit platform and this strategic intelligence, data and enablement focus differentiates the Company in the informal retail and trade segment.
OmniRetail has improved retailers’ earnings potential by over 4x and enhanced the financial inclusion of retailers in Nigeria and Africa. Over 78% of the Company’s retailers and distributors are women, further driving gender equality and economic empowerment on the continent.
Deepankar Rustagi, CEO of OmniRetail said: “We are happy to partner with Aruwa Capital on this exciting journey as we approach our next phase of growth. We believe having Aruwa as shareholders will be instrumental to our growth as the team at Aruwa Capital have shown their dedication to providing strategic support that is instrumental to us becoming the growth engine of traditional retailers in Africa. This investment will help us achieve our market deepening and expansion plans, enabling us to solve even more challenges faced by players in the retail distribution value chain. We are grateful to the Aruwa Capital team for believing in our vision and the grassroot impact we are making in Africa.”
Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Founder & Managing Partner of Aruwa Capital added: “We are excited to have completed this investment in Omniretail. We find the technology stack of the Company very impressive as they have created different interconnected technology solutions that are addressing real-life challenges in the retail value chain in Africa. We think this technology stack will in the long-run play a major role in the Company’s network-effect strategy in the FMCG value chain in Africa. We are also impressed with the depth and robustness of the Company’s supply chain operations, that is powering the e-commerce segments. We think these supply chain capabilities have played a strong role in the growth the Company has witnessed within the past three years. With OmniPay, we also see strong prospects for the Company as they are clearly customer-obsessed and committed to creating real impact for all stakeholders. In line with Aruwa’s gender lens investing strategy, OmniRetail is promoting the economic growth of over 50,000 women retailers today and counting, through improved revenue and inclusion to the digital financial bracket. In addition, about half of the Company’s workforce are female, further illustrating our thesis of women empowerment through our investments.”
OmniRetail is on a mission to empower the African supply chain by digitizing the complex supply chains so that the stakeholders can maximize profits. Each of the services under OmniRetail (OmniBiz, OmniPay and Mplify) benefits retailers, distributors, and manufacturers, they achieve more profit and execute business more efficiently.
OmniBiz is a tech-first B2B e-commerce company focused on the transformation of traditional retail in Africa. With its embedded finance technology, OmniPay and Mplify, the Distribution Management Solution, OmniRetail has been able to create a decentralized approach to digitized retail.