Kenyan tech company MarketForce 360 is among a list of startups that got accepted into American startup accelerator, Y-Combinator – Summer 2020 batch as the only one from sub-Saharan Africa.
The startup is an automation software platform that enables companies in Africa to manage their field sales activities and grow their distribution channels and is owned by Mesozi Group.
Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups, with over 2,000 startups benefiting since it began its programme in 2005 and the combined valuation of its portfolio is Sh10 trillion.
It runs two three-month funding cycles a year, one from January through March and one from June through August.
“We ask the founders of each startup we fund to move to the Bay Area in the United States for the duration of their cycle, during which we work intensively with them to get the company into the best shape possible.
“Selected founders work intensively with Y Combinator to get their companies into the best shape possible,” reads a statement seen by Afcacia.
Each cycle culminates in an event called Demo Day, where the startups present their solutions to an audience that includes most of the world’s top startup investors.
MarketForce 360 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.
The company leverages on the power and availability of mobile devices by enabling both employed and independent field agents to record all customer interactions as they happen in the field, from taking orders and feedback to managing deliveries and payments.
“We will soon be allowing retail outlets to order and pay for goods directly from their nearest supplier,” says the startup.
It has a history of aggregating the data collected in the field and presents it through live web dashboards, where manufacturers, distributors and service providers are able to monitor and analyse their distribution channels, the company said.
This, it explains, allows clients to estimate demand and tailor their sales, distribution and marketing efforts based on real-time market trends and consumer purchasing habits.
“It enables them to harness the potential of the African market like never before.”