British International Investment

TradeDepot Inc

West AfricaConsumer - other services

TradeDepot connects small retailers in Nigeria with suppliers of consumer goods via an online platform and tech-enabled logistics network.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

This investment is part of our 'VC Scale-up' strategy to support the growth of the most impactful companies in our venture capital funds portfolio. Our investment in TradeDepot will enhance economic opportunities for low-income retailers in Nigeria, the majority of whom are women. TradeDepot is solving for key market constraints and inefficiencies in the informal supply chain that will unlock higher sales and margins for MSME retailers.

We made our first commitment to the company in 2021 and made a further commitment in 2023.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact
  • Economic opportunities through improved value chain and market integration, and enhanced access to finance (SDG 9).
  • Economic opportunities through direct employment creation (SDG 8).

How?

Primary Secondary
  • Economic enabler: By solving for a fragmented distribution network and retailers’ constrained access to finance, TradeDepot enables increased productivity and incomes of MSME retailers.
  • Catalysing market: Demonstrate how tech-enabled solutions can improve the fragmentation, inefficiency and opacity of the informal food and grocery retail market, thereby improving cost and efficiency of supply for MSME retailers.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Suppliers

Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa

TradeDepot targets small-scale retailers (individual mom-and-pop shops and kiosks) which represent 80% of the retail sales market in Africa and the majority of which are expected to be low income.

Employees

Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa

The direct full time employees are in high skilled roles while the contract staff are low-skilled workers such as field agents.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Suppliers: TradeDepot is projected to reach c. 136,000 retailers by 2025, adding 75,000 retailers from current baseline.

Through its work, TradeDepot will help retailers expand their business and income.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Financial additionality: Capital is not offered in sufficient quantity.

Risk

Execution Risk
  • risk linked to future expansion into new areas and activities where the company does not yet have experience and track record.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We partnered with our fund manager to co-invest in this company, including by relying on our fund manager's ESDD and ESAP. The ESAP included items related to developing an ESMS, labour and working conditions, road safety, fire safety, emergency response, and grievance management.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D5217
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    West Africa
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Consumer - other services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Equity
    Start date :
    October 2021
    Amount :
    $5m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    USA
    2X Gender Finance

    Indicates whether the investment is ‘2X qualified’ using the 2X Challenge criteria. You can find out more here. It only applies to investments made from 2018 onwards, when the 2X Challenge was first launched.

    :
    Fully qualified

Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 02 $4m West Africa Consumer - other services February 2023 Active

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