Senegal-based B2B e-commerce startup Maad raised $3.2 million in debt-equity funding led by Ventures Platform to expand operations in western Africa and the broader Francophone region.

The funding included contributions from various investors. Founded in 2020, Maad started as a data collection service and transitioned into a software provider assisting companies in managing internal distribution, particularly targeting fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) suppliers.

Maad’s platform addresses significant issues for informal retailers, commonly known as mom-and-pop stores, by allowing them to source FMCG products directly from partner suppliers. This approach helps mitigate stockouts and reduces the high inventory costs typically incurred due to multiple dealer levels.

Operational Model and Growth

Orders can be placed via Maad’s call center, field agents, or its app, with the app accounting for 75% of the orders. Maad fulfills these orders from its warehouses and delivers using its in-house logistics service, ensuring cost efficiency and service reliability. COO Jessica Long emphasized the importance of managing logistics internally to maintain low margins and meet client reliability needs.

Since its launch, Maad has expanded to serve 6,500 active retailers through a network of 80 suppliers, achieving a monthly Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of $3 million. By working closely with suppliers, Maad has gained exclusive access to certain products and competitive pricing, which attracts informal retailers. These retailers play a crucial role in sub-Saharan Africa, delivering about 80% of household retail due to their proximity to customers.

Future Plans and Market Position

Maad’s success comes amidst a challenging environment for B2B e-commerce businesses in Africa, characterized by thin margins and capital-intensive models. Many companies in this sector, such as Wabi, Wasoko, and MaxAB, have had to scale back, while others like Zumi and MarketForce’s RejaReja have shut down. Despite these challenges, Maad has managed to secure funding and claims a first-mover advantage in Senegal.

Looking ahead, Maad aims to expand its reach to remote areas within Senegal and enter new markets in the Francophone region by the end of the year. The startup also plans to introduce a “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) service to provide shop owners with inventory on credit, further supporting the growth of informal retailers.


Maad’s successful funding round and strategic plans highlight its potential to transform the B2B e-commerce landscape in western Africa and the wider Francophone region. By leveraging its innovative distribution platform and close relationships with suppliers, Maad is well-positioned to overcome sector challenges and drive growth in underserved markets.

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