The French start-up Afrimarket has just raised a total of 10 million Euros, approximately FCfa 6.5 billion, from various international investors, the daily Les Echos revealed. The funds, as explained by Rania Belkahia, co-founder of Afrimarket, will enable this start-up to roll out, starting from this year, its e-commerce platform in six new African countries (in addition to Côte d’Ivoire), including Cameroon.
Already present in Cameroon through a partnership with the telecoms group Orange and a subsidiary created in April 2015, Afrimarket is distinctive in that, further to the simple money transfer market already dominated by giants such as MoneyGram or Western Union; it offers the possibility of making “cash to goods” transfers to Africa. Which enables members in the African diaspora living in Europe, to make direct payments towards the basic needs (food, school kits …) of their close relatives and other family back in their country of origin.
The diversification of its activities in Cameroon, through the launch of an online trading platform, will open for Afrimarket the way to an e-commerce sector full of unexplored potential. Indeed, according to experts, the e-commerce penetration rate in Cameroon, at the moment, barely reaches 2%.
However, Afrimarket, for whom 30% of the turnover comes from the e-commerce platform currently operating in Côte d’Ivoire only, will soon move into a tad more complex Cameroonian market; where two other well-known e-commerce operators are having different results.
These are in particular Cdiscount, who recently announced its withdrawal from a Cameroonian market deemed difficult, and Jumia, who for its, part, seems to ride a wave of success in Cameroon. Indeed, this operator has just signed with Campost, the public post office, an agreement to expand its network throughout the country. This, after registering more than one million orders on its platform, less than 2 years after the launch of its activities in the country.