Onyekachi Izukanne, a seasoned entrepreneur with 17 years of experience in technology and consulting, is the Co-founder and CEO of TradeDepot, a B2B marketplace that connects small retailers with wholesalers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).
Onyekachi spent 11 years in management consulting, specialising in consumer products, energy and financial services.
Prior to TradeDepot, she co-founded C2G Consulting, a technology consulting practice that he bootstrapped to become the leading SAP Partner in West Africa by 2013.
He is well versed in discussing the African business environment, SMEs, digital economy, business growth, and the start-up industry. Onyekachi is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
Izukanne’s TradeDepot is a distributor and retail aggregator that was launched in 2016 with a mission to consolidate Nigeria’s fragmented informal retail supply chain, by connecting the world’s top consumer goods manufacturers to retailers in Africa.
TradeDepot’s technology was built to accommodate the varying needs of its customers. It currently has about 60,000 micro retailers in its network.
Onyekachi Izukanne and his passion for distribution
In an interview with Nairametric, Izukanne explained why he ventured into the distribution of goods, instead of entering other segments or industries.
“Our focus is distribution, which is a very feasible problem because to purchase whatever item we need, distribution is necessary for getting it from the maker to us. Whether it is a shirt, food, or digital item, there needs to be distribution,” Izukanne said
“Now especially, the biggest commercially used case you could make for distribution is the movement of consumables, personal care items, and other essential supplies.
“Items that are fast-moving, due to the high velocity of their usage, require frequent replenishment. This creates the biggest challenge as far as distribution is concerned.
“We need to build reliable distribution, and if you are building a reliable distribution, the biggest thing that we’ll need to move through that pipe will be fast-moving consumer goods.”
In 2021, TradeDepot, the leading B2B eCommerce and embedded finance platform in Africa raised $110 million in an equity and debt funding round to support the delivery of Buy-Now-Pay-Later services to 5 million SME retailers and drive further expansion of its merchant platform across the continent.
The Series B equity round was led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – a member of the World Bank Group, with participation from Novastar, Sahel Capital, CDC Group, Endeavor Catalyst, and existing investors, Partech and MSA Capital. The debt funding was led by Arcadia Funds.
Speaking about the new funding, Onyekachi Izukanne, said, “We remain super focused on making digital commerce and financing both accessible and affordable to neighbourhood retailers across key cities in Africa.”
TradeDepot has built a network of leading consumer goods brands and SME retailers across Africa and created a proprietary risk scoring engine that uses retailers’ purchase history, previous repayment performance, and other related data points to predict their creditworthiness.
This game-changing financing model coupled with industry-leading technology to support logistics operations has led to a 200 percent increase in transaction volumes for retail store owners.