Xetova explores market data gaps in Africa to increase access to trade insights • TechCrunch

Africa is considered the next trade frontier, after the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), creating the largest unrestricted trade area in the world. However, while trade liberalization is intended to boost trade in the region, its take-off depends on critical infrastructure investments to ensure supply chain efficiency. More progress is related to the speed at which market information flows to key stakeholders including traders, regulators and financiers.

Realizing emerging opportunities, Xetova, a startup in Kenya, is implementing technologies that make it possible for traders to access information about market opportunities. It is currently building a network of large, medium and small businesses, which will be harnessed to derive insights and foresight on market opportunities and risks.

“For example, we are building a network of trust, allowing a company in Kenya to know who to work with in a country like Nigeria, South Africa. This trusted network can only be built with verifiable data collection capabilities,” he said Bramuel MwaloFounder and CEO of Xetova, adds that his company is working on the largest network of commercial intelligence and supply chain support.

To ensure that prominent trade trends, reports and information are authentic, Xetova, founded in 2019, is positioning its network based on data from its insights service. , a service that businesses use to interpret supply chain, spending, revenue, and general management performance data into actionable insights.

The Insights service is the first in Xetova’s suite of products that customers sign up for before signing up for other services including trade finance and links to extensive trade networks.

Mwalo’s interest in African trade is fueled by research he is a part of which shows that entrepreneurs have a high chance of success if they have access to great deals and channels. distribution is less fragmented.

“That discovery made me curious about B2B commerce, major supply chains, and how entrepreneurs in Africa access major procurement opportunities. I developed this theory that data can significantly drive commerce and the way businesses access opportunities, manage risk and communicate with each other,” said Mwalo.

“Then my doctoral thesis explored ways to get B2B data access in the sense that people in Africa trying to do business should actually access data about opportunities, risks, and opportunities. net. This information should be made available to the market and where it is available it will dramatically change the way trades are made, because at the end of the day we perceive risk differently,” he said. speak.

Halfway through school, Mwalo took time off from school to join Kountable, a financier who specializes in providing loans to small and medium-sized businesses that lack access to formal institutions because of a lack of collateral.

In his two years as Kauntable CEO, he said, they have funded $32 million worth of deals, supporting 200 entrepreneurs in a number of countries including Kenya and Rwanda. However, they proved difficult to scale up loans, even with a credit line of $150 million, due to the lack of verifiable data on the operations of many businesses.

“Initially, the business went very smoothly and sales were amazing. The challenge came when we needed to scale beyond 200. Every time we started attracting businesses outside of our network, we lost money. Their demand grew so fast, faster than our appraisal capacity,” Mwalo said.

“That’s when I realized the biggest problem in trade in Africa is not capital, but information asymmetry in terms of value, security and profitability,” he said.

This experience prompted him to launch Xetova to ensure that businesses understand and unlock the value of the data they own, use that data to deliver solutions to their challenges, and demonstrate How mining that data at scale for commercial intelligence can open up new partnerships and larger markets. This in addition to making it possible for businesses to access loans based on their own data and insights, is used by lenders in the Xetova network to provide tailored loans.

In addition to serving businesses, Xetova counts government agencies among its customers with whom Xetova is working to improve efficiency in healthcare. For such entities, it provides detailed information on consumption, distribution, procurement spending, suppliers and payment performance.

The company claims to have posted sales of $2.45 million last December and facilitated trade financing of up to $7 million.

Xetova is looking to grow its customer base from 60 large businesses now to 300 in the next 18 months.

The company is targeting to sign up 10 major distributors in Africa, to increase its reach to more than 10 countries from the existing 7 countries and facilitate $20 million worth of trade financing.

Xetova, which raised $4 million in an equity debt seed round last year led by South Africa’s TRT Investments, is also launching a scholarship program for potential investors.

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