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Maad Raises $3.2m Seed Funding to Transform Francophone Africa’s Retail Market

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Maad, Francophone Africa’s fastest-growing tech & logistics platform for informal retailers, today announced the successful completion of its $3.2 million seed funding round (debt & equity).

The round was led by Ventures Platform, with participation from Seedstars International Ventures, Reflect Ventures, OuiCapital, Launch Africa, Voltron Capital & Alumni Ventures. Proparco and local banks participated in the debt financing.

Maad is a tech & logistics platform that directly connects suppliers and small retailers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). Their tech-driven solution allows retailers to order products from a one-stop shop, with reliable delivery, competitive prices while benefiting from working capital loans.

Maad leverages this distribution infrastructure to offer additional high-value services to brands: data, software, and services for advertising, distribution, and market understanding.

Maad is on a mission to transform the retail landscape in Francophone Africa, where 80% to 95% of consumption still takes place in informal mom-and-pop shops. “Among startups operating in this space, Maad benefits from a clear first-mover advantage in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa.

 

“We often say this is a blue ocean. As the fastest-growing player in the region, we are well-positioned to maintain our leadership and continue driving transformation in this underserved market,” said Sidy Niang, Co-founder & CEO of Maad.

The company currently operates in Senegal and has already achieved significant milestones, including partnering with more than 80 suppliers, offering a catalog of over 1,000 SKUs of household brands, and reaching a monthly GMV of $3 million, while operating near breakeven. Maad plans to use the funds to further expand across & dominate the Senegalese market, introduce financial services such as Buy Now, Pay Later through a digital wallet, and launch in a second country in Francophone Africa.

Maad’s founding team brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Jessica Long, Co-founder & COO, focused on Operations Excellence & Technology, was the 15th employee at Airbnb and has been living in Senegal for over 7 years, designing digital distribution systems nationwide.

Sidy Niang, is focused on Growth, Hiring & Fundraising, has over 4 years of experience in private equity and infrastructure investments with the IFC (International Finance Corporation) and previously co-founded a food delivery company.

“Small retailers are central to neighborhood life and to Senegal’s economy. Maad builds scalable digital technology and core logistics infrastructure so that these retailers can make everyday-need products consistently available to people who make less than $5 a day,” added Jessica Long.

She continues, “Maad’s strength lies in its technology. We have built a fully in-house ERP, for order, delivery & warehouse management that fits perfectly with our operations, allowing us to operate more efficiently at every single step of the logistics chain. We also collect data points on product & retailers, which we process and use to make insights available to suppliers so that they can make better decisions”

“Maad’s innovative approach to digitizing the informal retail sector in Francophone Africa has the potential to create a significant impact on the lives of small business owners and consumers,” said Dotun Oloworopoku, Managing Partner at Ventures Platform. “We are thrilled to lead this investment round and support the Maad team as they work towards building a more efficient and inclusive retail ecosystem in the region.”

Charlie Graham-Brown, Seedstars International Ventures Partner shared, “What sets Maad apart is their ability to navigate the complexities of the informal retail sector while maintaining a sustainable business model.

“Their focus on profitability and efficient use of capital, combined with their first-mover advantage in a largely untapped market, makes them an attractive investment opportunity. We believe that Maad has the potential to drive significant economic impact and create lasting positive change in the lives of retailers and consumers across the region.”

Maad’s unique positioning, sustainable business model, and ability to secure funding during a challenging climate for B2B e-commerce startups demonstrate the company’s potential to drive significant transformation across Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa’s retail landscape.


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E-Business

NDPC Empowers Institute to Certify Data Protection Professionals

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Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) has said the certification of data protection professionals in the country will significantly reduce capital flight and create more than 500,000 jobs in the sector.

NDPC Empowers Institute to Certify Data Protection Professionals

L-r: Dr. Vincent Olatunji, executive commissioner, NDPC and Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, president of the Institute of Information Management,

Dr. Vincent Olatunji, executive commissioner, NDPC, stated this at the presentation of the certificate of licence to the Institute of Information Management (IMF) in Abuja.

He said the certification of data protection professionals would not only enhance the protection of personal data, but also boost the country’s economic growth and development.

The projection comes as the commission intensifies efforts to promote data protection and privacy in Nigeria’s rapidly growing digital economy.

According to Dr. Olatunji, the move aims to enhance the capacity of organisations to protect personal data and promote compliance with Nigeria’s data protection regulations.

Establishing a local institution to train and certify Nigerians would significantly enhance local content in the sector, the NDPC boss hinted.

The commission, he assured his audience, was already exploring the possibility of implementing the licencing framework across Africa—a move that could potentially harmonise data protection standards and expertise across the continent.

Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, president of the Institute of Information Management, said the licence would effectively address the existing gap in the data protection ecosystem, providing a much-needed solution.

Recalling that the certification process began in 2021, Dr. Oyewole reaffirmed the institute’s dedication to excellence, pledging to provide top-notch education in data protection and set a benchmark for the country’s education system in this field.

The IIM’s certification programmes will cover essential topics such as data protection principles, risk management, and compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).

The initiative is expected to boost the confidence of organisations and individuals in the country’s data protection landscape.

 

 


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CrediCorp Partners FintechNGR to Drive Consumer Credit Initiative

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Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CrediCorp), has partnered Fintech Association of Nigeria (FinTechNGR) to drive consumer credit scheme initiative through a robust payment platform that would be provided by members of FinTechNGR.

Speaking at a Social Meet in Lagos, organised by FinTechNGR, with the theme: “Augmenting the Future, AI, Credit and Transformation of Nigerian Finance,” the Chairman, CrediCorp Board of Directors, Aderemi Abdul-Bojela, said members of FinTechNGR would have specific roles to play in the partnership, in the areas of providing robust platform for money transfer, technology evaluation, among others.

“Today, CrediCorp is engaging with members of FinTechNGR in a social interactive gathering to discuss collaboration and support for the growth of Consumer Credit Corporation in Nigeria. We want to interact to understand how technology will drive the crediCorp initiative in Nigeria and also to understand the role that members of FinTechNGR will play in all of these initiatives around CrediCorp,” Abdul-Bojela said.

Describing the partnership as a welcome development that will enhance savings culture among Nigerians, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of FinTechNGR, Dr. Babatunde Obrimah, said: “FinTechNGR is an enabler of technology advancement in Nigeria. We bring the players together to drive technology innovation.

“Our role in the FinTechNGR-CrediCorp partnership is to ensure that our members support the growth of consumer credit in Nigeria, by providing the relevant payment platforms for all financial transactions among the banks who are the lenders, the customers who are the burrowers and the CrediCorp who is the guarantor.”

Speaking about the benefits for Nigerians, Obrimah said the Consumer Credit Corporation in Nigeria would enhance the country’s credit culture and enable Nigerians to save and plan well with their savings. “The initiative will address inflation, help in liquidity flow, build trust in customers’ borrowing, boost credit culture and enhance the culture of savings among Nigerians,” Obrimah said.

Addressing the issue of risk and consumer trust, Abdul-Bojela said the CrediCorp has put measures in place to ensure that the banks that would be involved in lending, would be protected and guaranteed of the repayment of the loans within the CrediCorp ecosystem.

He said there would be an independent management that would ensure that the right technology is put in place to recover all monies.


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NITDA to Integrate of Digital Literacy into School Curriculum

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Kashifu Abdullahi, director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), announced plans to integrate digital literacy into Nigeria’s education system, to achieve a 70% literacy rate by 2027 and 95% by 2030.

NITDA to Integrate of Digital Literacy into School Curriculum

Kashifu Abdullah, DG, NITDA

The NITDA’s DG made the announcement on Wednesday in Abuja during a media parley.

He stated that in order to include digital literacy in the curriculum at all educational levels, from kindergarten to university, the Agency was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Education.

Abdullahi, said that this program would equip Nigerians with the digital know-how and abilities they need to succeed in the digital economy.

He emphasized that NITDA would also launch the “Digital Literacy for All Initiative” to educate Nigerians outside the formal education system and provide access to quality digital content.

Nigeria would train over two million young people in in-demand IT skills in order to become significant global outsourcing hub

NITDA is also collaborating with the Defence Headquarters and security agencies to develop digital solutions to address security concerns, including the use of drones, artificial intelligence, and other digital resources to combat banditry, abduction, and terrorism, he said.

 

According to him, the agency’s draft SRAP 2.0 plan aims to establish Nigeria as a digitally empowered nation, with a focus on innovation, national prosperity, and inclusivity.

The director general of NITDA added that, if successfully implemented, this strategy could propel Nigeria into a new phase of digital empowerment and leadership in the global digital economy.


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