Cartnshop has raised $400,000 funding to push the commercialisation of its product which enables African SMEs to set up online stores quickly and affordably.
Most small business owners in Africa struggle with attracting customers to their business. This contributes to why most small businesses rarely survive the first five years of their operation.
Cartnshop, a Kenya based retail startup that was founded in 2018 is making it easier for retail and enterprise businesses to attract new customers. The startup created a cloud-based product that enables any retailer or enterprise to broaden their sales channels online in order to gain more customers, inquiries, and sales orders.
Cartnshop has B2B and B2C channels, which incorporates payment gateways, delivery and fulfilment centres, marketing and marketplace cross-listings and business management capabilities.
At affordable rates, users will be able to create personalized stores with eCommerce website, iOS and Android apps. They would also manage orders, invoices and payments right through the Merchant Admin panel, upload product catalogues, manage dedicated inventory and delivery, as well as share promotional and marketing messages.
In late 2019, the startup released engine one and onboarded 50 merchants. After validating the concept and gathering enough feedback, engine two was released and over 300 merchants were onboarded.
Upon conducting the proof of concept with Safaricom and EABL in 2020 and gathering feedback from the market, engine three is ready to launch. The latest version is built to accommodate over one million merchants.
Speaking on the fundraise, the founder and CEO, Joe Wambugu said, The Cartnshop ecosystem brings stakeholders including manufacturers, suppliers and distributors, service providers and e-commerce enablers into the channels, enabling a complete model of B2B2C.
The rollout will be funded by a $400,000 raised from various business angels. Cartnshop has released its platform to some shops in Botswana and Tanzania, but Wambugu said its primary focus was on Kenya.