KENYA – Tushop, a Kenyan social-commerce platform that enables communities in Nairobi to buy groceries more cheaply with free delivery, has secured US$3 million in a pre-seed funding round.

The round is aimed at growing Tushop’s team, investing in tech to make its platform as easy to use as possible and to further expand across Nairobi before rolling the service out to other cities in Kenya.

It was led by 4DX Ventures and with participation from JAM Fund, Breyer Capital, Chandaria Capital, TO Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, FirstCheck Africa, and DFS Lab.

Wasoko (formerly Sokowatch) also joined to make their first strategic institutional investment into Tushop, signalling confidence in the team’s ability to capture the community group-buying opportunity in Africa.

The oversubscribed round included additional participation from several angel investors including GB (CEO, Flutterwave), Raja Kaul (President, Sundial Group), Eli Pollak (CEO, Apollo Agriculture), and Ida Mannoh (Director of Growth, Chipper Cash).

“Tushop is unique in this market because we know the customer – we are our customers! We have grown up experiencing the problem of unaffordable food on the one hand and the need to have additional ‘side hustles’ on the other because of persistently low incomes,” Cathy Chepkemboi, Founder & CEO at Tushop, said.

“We also have first-hand experience of the difficulties manufacturers face when moving goods through a fragmented supply chain, which creates distance between them and the customers they serve.

“We are therefore hyper-focused on delivering a superior experience for suppliers, ‘side-hustling’ Community Leaders, as well as our end-customers in an integrated manner.”

Founded in 2021, Tushop’s mission is to make access to groceries more affordable and more convenient for Kenyans and eventually all Africans.

Community group-buying saves consumers up to 60% on groceries compared to buying in supermarkets, dukas, or at “mama mbogas” while providing the added convenience of free delivery.

Tushop works with “Community Leaders” who collate orders from their neighbours and manage door-to-door deliveries.

This not only simplifies last-mile delivery but also gives the Community Leaders additional income for coordinating and delivering orders. Similar community group-buying companies in other markets have achieved significant success, such as Nice Tuan in China and Favo in Brazil.

“We are stoked to be working with some of the leading investors globally and locally who really understand the African space from a logistics, tech, and payments perspective, and look forward to justifying their faith in us with future growth, commercial success, and meaningful social impact,” Cathy added.

“Wasoko’s investment in us is also a validating signal of the work we’ve done so far and we look forward to working closely with them to scale Tushop.”

Liked this article? Subscribe to DealStreet Africa News, our regular email newsletter with the latest news, deals, and insights from Africa’s businesseconomy, and more. SUBSCRIBE HERE