Kenyan fashion e-commerce startup ShopZetu is ready to add magnificence and residential décor classes to its portfolio, in response to the growing wants of the younger and style-conscious girls in Africa. This is because it at the moment scales regionally over the subsequent few months whereas working to appeal to worldwide fashion manufacturers, and greater than triple the quantity of distributors on its platform to 1,000.
The startup plans to trial regional supply providers in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, scaling beyond Kenya, the place it launched in 2021, on the backing of a $1 million pre-seed funding it has simply closed.
“The goal is for ShopZetu to become the leading lifestyle platform. We are looking to expand our beauty, skincare, hair and home décor offerings, which are all expressions of one’s identity. We want to become a one stop shop,” mentioned Marvin Kiragu, ShopZetu CEO, who co-founded the startup with Wandia Gichuru, additionally co-founder of the favored Kenyan fashion model Vivo.
The pre-seed spherical was led by Chui Ventures, with participation from Launch Africa, Roselake Ventures, and Logos Ventures. Angel buyers that took half within the spherical embody Kendall Tang, the CEO of RT Knits; Ben Munoz, the co-founder and CEO of Nadine West; Sumit Bhasin of Estee Lauder Inc; Patricia Ithau, the CEO of WPP Scangroup, and Peter Njonjo, the co-founder and CEO of Twiga Foods.
Kiragu informed TechCrunch that ShopZetu was born out of the necessity for a multi-brand marketplace to bridge a highly-fragmented trade that has “hundreds of thousands of sellers” offline and on-line together with on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. This, he famous, makes the procuring course of cumbersome, missing value visibility and buyer belief.
He added that the infinite quantity of attainable stock-keeping items makes it practically inconceivable for anybody participant to home the obtainable assortment beneath one bodily location.
“ShopZetu seeks to solve this problem by aggregating the available supply of fashion and lifestyle products under one roof,” he mentioned.
ShopZetu’s over 300 distributors, primarily made up of massive and small native producers, and merchants of imported fashion merchandise, have at the moment listed greater than 20,000 merchandise on the ShopZetu marketplace. Vendor onboarding is free, nevertheless, they pay a fee for gross sales generated on the platform, and for different further providers together with supply.
“We also offer vendors a variety of services such as content, digital marketing, warehousing, last mile delivery and returns management. These services are offered at a cost but are largely subsidized to ensure vendor success online,” mentioned Kiragu.
“Our goal is to lower the barrier for anyone to start and scale a fashion brand leveraging ShopZetu’s reach and resources. We have good case studies of brands incubated and launched on ShopZetu and then go on to scale online and establish physical stores,” he mentioned.
The startup requires distributors promoting on the marketplace to, amongst different situations, be effectively stocked, have prime quality merchandise and inclusive-sizing.
The startup says it has up to now two years served over 30,000 prospects, and offered greater than 100,000 merchandise, whereas reaching over 400% enhance in month-to-month orders since January 2021.
ShopZetu says it’s eyeing the rising fashion trade in sub-Saharan Africa, which is at the moment dominated by second-hand clothes. However, startups like ShopZetu are banking their growth on inexpensive new clothes choices, and the rising fashion-conscious, tech savvy inhabitants in Africa.
“We believe the market for fashion is huge as clothing is a basic human need. While a big percentage of this is currently serviced by secondhand clothing, we are seeing a gradual shift to new clothing as more affordable options are introduced into the market,” mentioned Kiragu.
“We believe that online fashion retail will leapfrog formal retail and become the largest e-commerce category in Africa.”