BY Business a.m.
Nomanini, a fast-growing fintech platform in Africa, has launched a new supply chain finance solution called StockNow that connects FMCGs and financial service providers to serve Africa’s informal retailers at scale.
The South Africa-headquartered fintech firm announced the launch on Monday, describing StockNow as an easy-to-use app that makes it possible for informal micro and small retailers to purchase stock digitally.
Nomanini said the 10 million informal retailers in Africa reached by global FMCG value chains lack access to responsible and affordable finance solutions to keep their shelves stocked to attract customers and grow their businesses.
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The StockNow app, therefore, connects these informal retailers to distributors of global FMCG brands relevant in the general trade market, enabling them to purchase goods using stock advances to keep their shelves stocked with essential goods, ensuring business continuity and support for last-mile consumers.
StockNow has gone live in Tanzania where it is being rolled out to thousands of informal retailers and Nomanini plans to scale the solution across the continent from Mozambique to Uganda, The Democratic Republic of Congo to Egypt.
For Nomanini, the launch of StockNow marks a big shift from enterprise B2B technology solutions to a move into embedded stock advances in the FMCG value chain.
StockNow comes as a response to challenges retailers faced during the Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdowns, Vahid Monadjem, Nomanini’s CEO, said.
“COVID really highlighted how important these retailers are to their communities. And unfortunately, their lack of access to responsible business finance solutions means that they are particularly vulnerable during and after times of crisis,” Monadjem said.
In response, Nomanini’s CEO said the firm “established the opportunity to accelerate the development of our digital working capital solutions to provide tools to help retailers keep their shelves stocked with essential goods”.
The StockNow app, available on android devices and feature phones, is expected to bring working capital solutions to retailers in the informal sector as well as enable them to build a stronger financial track record and trade with more confidence and volume over time.
The app provides an end-to-end solution to provide responsible working capital so that informal retailers can stock their shelves in a predictable manner.
By digitising the supply chain, StockNow enables FMCGs to increase operational efficiency by unlocking trade data and gaining visibility into the sales and preferences of informal retailers. Automating settlements and incentivising e-payments within the value chain also lead to improved efficiencies.
Founded in 2010, Nomanini is a pioneering fintech that connects merchants, distributors and service providers to overcome fragmentation, optimise digital distribution, and scale Africa’s informal retail ecosystem by combining new digital financial services with existing distribution networks.