Endeavor Nigeria has welcomed three new entrepreneurs into its global network.
Onyekachi Izukanne, Michael Ukpong and Ruke Awaritefe, the co-founders of TradeDepot, were selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs on May 18, 2021, at the 15th Virtual International Selection Panel (v-ISP #15).
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TradeDepot is a B2B eCommerce platform that allows retailers to order inventory through multiple channels (Mobile, USSD and WhatsApp) and have it delivered the next day.
With a mission to build strong entrepreneurship ecosystems in high-growth markets including Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe & North America, Endeavor selects, mentors and accelerates the best high-impact entrepreneurs behind some of the world’s most exciting scale-up companies, supporting them to scale their companies as well as drive economic growth and job creation.
Along with Onyekachi Izukanne, Michael Ukpong and Ruke Awaritefe, Endeavor Nigeria supports 19 entrepreneurs who lead 11
companies, including Flutterwave, Carbon, Autochek, 54gene, Paga, Migo, Daystar Power, HealthPlus, Kobo360 and FilmHouse Group.
Managing Director & CEO of Endeavor in Nigeria, Tosin Faniro-Dada, in a press statement, said: “We’re excited to welcome TradeDepot into Endeavor’s network.
“The Endeavor network includes some of the world’s most exciting scale-up entrepreneurs and most experienced mentors and investors.
“TradeDepot, a Factory-to-Retail distribution platform for Consumer Goods companies, is solving an important problem by organizing and digitizing an industry that affects the lives of millions of Nigerians.
“We are excited to support Onyekachi, Michael and Ruke with their mission of connecting retailers to manufacturers with mentorship and guidance as they continue to grow as leaders and scale TradeDepot.”
Endeavour Entrepreneur’s candidates go through a rigorous selection process which culminates in an International Selection Panel (ISP) where candidates are vetted by trusted mentors, drawn from Endeavor’s extensive network of over 4,000 mentors across the world.
As part of the process, TradeDepot was presented at the 15th v-ISP and was successfully selected in a unanimous decision by the panellists as part of a cohort of 13 entrepreneurs from 9 markets.
Also speaking, Linda Rottenberg, the CEO, and Co-founder of Endeavour said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Kachi, Michael, and Ruke to the Endeavor Entrepreneur network.
“TradeDepot is solving a critical problem in the retail sector across Africa through its B2B e-commerce platform.
“The company has the potential to scale regionally and globally and to join the tech powerhouses catapulting Nigeria’s entrepreneurial ecosystem into the world’s view.
“The founders have demonstrated a deep knowledge of the market; they also have great chemistry and an amazing co-founder relationship, having built several companies together over 20 years.
“We’re excited to support them through their scale-up journey.”
Ruke Awaritefe, the CBO and Co-founder of Trade Depot remarked that since launching in 2016, TradeDepot had surpassed several milestones, raising a $3 million Series A in 2018 and a $10 million pre-Series B in 2020.
“Michael, Onyekachi and I see joining the Endeavor Network as a great opportunity to connect with a curated group of very talented founders and mentors in various countries across the world and look forward to leveraging these connections as we continue to execute on our mission.
“Africa’s $1 trillion retail markets is largely informal and offline, with over 90% of all sales happening in millions of small “mom and pop” stores.
“TradeDepot’s mission is to consolidate this fragmented inform retail supply chain, connect the world’s top consumer goods manufacturers to micro retailers on the streets of Africa’s cities and support the informal retail sector with inventory financing to scale and grow.
“Today, TradeDepot, through its ShopTopUp platform, digitally and seamlessly plugs the gap in informal retail by providing flexible and affordable loans to its retailers to buy more goods at the best prices, scale their businesses and generate more revenue.”