Goodwell invests in Copia, one of Africa’s most promising ecommerce businesses
Amsterdam, January 18, 2019 Goodwell Investments has acquired a share in Copia, a promising ecommerce business that specializes in supplying products and services to currently underserved consumers in rural Kenya. Copia has great potential to expand in that country and other emerging rural markets across Africa and beyond.
Copia supplies products and services to “Base of the Pyramid” (BoP) consumers. Through a combination of technology, local agents, efficient delivery strategies, a broad and affordable product offering, and reliable services, Copia enables households to access goods that would otherwise be difficult to obtain without travelling to a major city. Pre-paid orders take on average only two to three days to be fulfilled..]
The company has a large and positive social impact in the rural communities it serves. It provides consumers with a wide choice of products at affordable prices via a business that is close to them and that they can trust to deliver quality. Saving $1.5 in transport costs and an hour travel time per order is a huge benefit for people living on only a few dollars per day. Also, the goods people buy via Copia are the exact same top-10 items they spend most of their income on, so these savings matter. All this aligns with the Goodwell strategy of giving more un(der)served people in the lowest income segments access to better quality, more relevant and more affordable basic goods and services.
Dramatic growth, huge potential
Copia launched in 2013 with 20 agents. It has shown dramatic growth over the past few years and now works with over 3,000 agents, counts some 40,000 customers, and executes over 80,000 orders a month. Since 2015, the company’s revenues have grown significantly year after year. Even so, the growth potential for Copia remains huge as it currently covers around 28% of Kenya and reaches only a minority of households in this area. Looking further ahead, Copia’s total addressable market could comprise several emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia as well that represent a potential purchasing power of over $5 trillion a year.
Investing in a vision
Copia’s results show that it has already taken major leaps forward in addressing the needs of underserved customers, while also benefiting agents. As it covers rural markets and targets low income households in villages and on large farms, this investment is a perfect match for Goodwell’s uMunthu fund. uMunthu’s mission is to invest up to 50% of its funds in inclusive businesses operating in sectors other than financial inclusion that matter to low income households, either because they spend much of their income or time in these sectors, or because these offer the best opportunities to improve livelihoods.
From left to right: Joel Wanjohi, senior investment manager Goodwell; Dominic Dimba, Copia CFO; Tim Steel Copia CEO