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Kenyan Startups Partner to Offer Merchants Access to Affordable Credit

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Kenyan startups MarketForce and Pezesha have partnered to offer affordable inventory and wholesale distribution financing to MarketForce merchants.

MarketForce enables consumer brands to optimise how they deliver essential goods and services to retailers and consumers by bridging the information gap in last mile distribution, while maximising efficiency across the sales and distribution value chain.

Pezesha, meanwhile, is a peer-to-peer micro lending marketplace that connects lenders with high quality, underserved, low income borrowers. The two startups have now partnered in a move that will see Pezesha provide credit to MarketForce merchants, who are local, small retail businesses, often informal and owned by an individual or a family.

The partnership seeks to bridge the gap between merchants and distributors by providing them with real-time access to affordable inventory credit options. In addition, both partners will provide value added services such as financial literacy and digital tools to help retailers streamline their records and build digital transactions that over time boosts their creditworthiness to qualify for affordable credit from the back of their transactions with MarketForce.

The two startups aim to reach at least 10,000 merchants and help them grow their revenue and sales by up to 25 per cent by enabling them with access to affordable inventory credit to adequately cater for their customer demands.

“We are excited to partner with the innovative Pezesha team to offer our customers much-needed inventory financing. We’ve co-designed a credit product that is affordable and accessible instantly, ensuring retailers never run out of stock,” said Tesh Mbaabu, chief executive officer (CEO) of MarketForce.

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“This partnership with MarketForce is timely as it allows Pezesha to embed credit in a cost effective way through the existing distribution process, in the end propelling small retailers survive, thrive and grow during the current pandemic,” said Hilda Moraa, CEO of Pezesha.