Fintech platform Nomanini has today announced the launch of a new app that connects FMCGs and financial service providers to serve Africa’s informal retailers at scale.
Known as StockNow, the app makes it possible for informal micro and small retailers to purchase stock digitally.
Ten million informal retailers in Africa are reached by global FMCG value chains but lack access to responsible and affordable finance solutions to keep their shelves stocked to attract customers and grow their businesses.
The StockNow app connects informal retailers to distributors of global fast moving consumer 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.
Going live in Tanzania with a key partner Nestlé ESAR, Nomanini’s launch of StockNow has formalised the relationship enabling a more strategic approach to alleviate some of the challenges experienced by retailers in Africa’s general market, especially as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.
“COVID really highlighted how important these retailers are to their communities,” says Nomanini’s CEO, Vahid Monadjem. “And unfortunately, their lack of access to responsible business finance solutions means that they are particularly vulnerable during and after times of crisis.“
“In response to challenges we saw retailers face during the pandemic and related lockdowns, we 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.” he adds.
As sole proprietors, retailers in the informal sector require stability, and working capital solutions such as the StockNow app, which is available on android devices and feature phones, can provide greater resilience and a buffer against shocks. StockNow will also enable them to build a stronger financial track record and trade with more confidence and volume over time.
StockNow is now live and being rolled out to thousands of informal retailers in Tanzania, with plans underway to scale the solution across the continent from Mozambique to Uganda, The Democratic Republic of Congo to Egypt.
FMCGs scaling into emerging markets encounter challenges as without affordable working capital, many informal retailers go through periods when they cannot pay suppliers to restock their inventory due to a lack of cash flow at the time of delivery. As a result stock is unexpectedly returned to the depot, leading to high operational costs.
Nomanini’s StockNow solution helps FMCGs overcome these challenges by providing 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.
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.