by Rania Belkahia, a Franco-Moroccan telecoms engineer
After coming up with the idea of bringing a new form of e-commerce to Africa, Rania Belkahia has succeeded in conjugating a business venture with a concrete contribution to the development of the African continent and the social betterment of its populations with Afrimarket.
An innovative e-commerce concept for Africa, Afrimarket, that was launched in 2014, is developing in leaps and bounds today, and the future is looking bright!
So what’s Afrimarket about?
Afrimarket is a curated marketplace with integrated last-mile logistics.
It aims to provide Africans with quality products, at a reasonable price and with the highest standards in terms of deliveries.
Afrimarket clients are the rising and aspiring African middle class, who live in capital cities as well as in rural areas (purchasing power is way higher than one would think, with an average order value of around €100, even in these areas). These clients praise the service because they have equipment needs but find a lack of retail and logistics infrastructure difficult to cater for them.
Afrimarket also found another client segment with Africans from the diaspora. These clients select among the 10,000 references on the Afrimarket website and get their choice delivered to their families back home, thus avoiding middle men and the high fees of money transfer.
Delivery is made by Afrimarket’s integrated logistics platform, by truck or motor bike, anywhere in the 5 countries where they operate (Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, Benin, Mali), be it in rural or urban areas. A choice that is not without challenges, but it works!
Conquering an untapped market
Afrimarket has conquered an untapped market, a continent projecting strong growth driven by a growing middle class.
Rania and her associate Jéremy Stoss saw a real need for added-value services for Africans especially the emerging middle class with a rising purchasing power, all seeking quality products and quality services.
Three rounds of funding over three years, totaling 13.5€ million, enabled Afrimarket to successfully take off and scale up. Funding initially came from leading French Tech entrepreneurs Xavier Niel and Jacques-Antoine Granjon, then from Orange, Elior and later from international investors, all convinced about the potential of the project.
Afrimarket is the realization Rania’s childhood dream of becoming an “inventor”.
Rania’s message for successful entrepreneurship
“Dreams and projects are all possible, once you’re ready to make the investment that matches your ambitions. You need to find the right idea that responds to a real need, that’s is really important! Then just go for it!”