As the African economy continues to decline impacting consumer wallets, small and medium enterprises have found themselves at the short end of the stick. There is often not enough money to deploy new products and services leading to many of these businesses shutting down.
Tradegrid, a business-to-business marketplace platform that was launched in 2021, says it has developed four solutions to tackle what it describes as the cash crunch that these businesses face.
Africa’s large-ticket trade market is faced with a severe cash crunch. In sectors like fuel forecourt, this has influenced results across three key areas; credit, utilization, and ownership.
For credit, given the severe cash crunch, most operators source products on credit through trust-based supplier relationships. Most of this credit remains informal.
On utilization, Most trading outlets under-utilize their facilities due to difficulties in sourcing products and maximizing margins to cover working capital costs.
Teadegrid’s solutions come in four benefit packages including low-cost credit, increased margins, reduced order fulfilment time, and transition to a cleaner energy mix.
The company describes the low-cost credit package as a formalised and easily accessible credit option that allows traders and operators to purchase as many products as they need and pay back as they sell.
The increased margin benefit helps traders to cut out redundant processes by signing up for Boost, Tradegrid’s flagship non-fuel revenue product.
The third benefit focuses on helping companies ensure that efficiency and value are not lost on long queues at the depot for new products offtake. Reducing this time will optimise the operations and cash flow of businesses.
The final benefit relates to how Tradegrid’s Boost simplifies and improves the experience businesses have from simple fueling stations to holistic multi-experience centres. The product makes the experience robust with alternative energy mixes like natural gas, EV charging etc., and wholesome retailing like grocery marts, spare-parts e-stores, etc., while also monetizing its high footfall traffic and other latent assets through LED advert boards.
Paul Adedoyin, managing director of Tradegrid, sees trading as the largest profession on the African continent. According to him. Tradegrid’s ambition is to become the No 1 solutions partner to the continent’s exponentially growing trade SMBs, by providing modern business tools that help them thrive in today’s digital age.
“We have bootstrapped operations since the first transaction in January 2022. We are delivering strong growth at our core, while rapidly building defensible moats and enhancing our eco-system of offerings,” Adedoyin said.
Tradegriid has grown to become the largest network of independent retail stations by solving intractable problems of small and medium Enterprises SMEs through a seamless application of their proprietary technology.
Tradegrid is backed by global investors including U.S based Fluna Capital, as well as numerous other investors from SoftBank, PwC, and Harvard Business Review.