Singapore-based Arcadier taps Africa’s burgeoning eCommerce market with strategic partnerships in Nigeria & Kenya
September 13, 2018 (SINGAPORE) - With the third fastest GDP growth of any region at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4%, an internet penetration rate that is expected to more than double from 18% (216 million) in 2017 to 50% (600 million) in 2025, and a burgeoning youth population that is willing and able to spend, Africa is rife with potential for eCommerce.
Picture: Professor Ivara Ejemot Esu, Deputy Governor, Cross River State, Nigeria (third from left), Special Advisors, Cocoa, Energy, Minerals, Cross River Sate, Nigeria; Kenneth Low, CCO, Arcadier; Adaeze Ekwueme, President, Arcadier CocoOne, at the Parliamentary Room, Cross River State, Nigeria (April 2018)
, the world’s fastest-growing proprietary marketplace builder platform, is looking to gain a slice of the pie. In particular, it is setting its sights on the three countries with the greatest prospects for growth in the region: Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. Their forecasted CAGR in the eCommerce industry through to 2025 stands at a rapid 37.7%, 39.4%, and 28% respectively. This closely mirrors the forecasted CAGR of eCommerce savvy India (between 30 – 34%), underscoring the vast potential of the three markets.
Arcadier believes that the market is ready for its three-sided marketplace platform technology. Consequently, in April this year, Arcadier was one of several companies to join the Enterprise Singapore (ESG) Trade Mission to Nigeria and Kenya to connect with potential distribution and ecosystem partners. Reflecting on the visit, Arcadier’s Chief Commercial Officer Kenneth Low said, “Our visit to Africa validates our research that the region holds big opportunity for growth in eCommerce, particularly for digital marketplaces. There are many use cases for eCommerce marketplaces to disrupt traditional ways of working which will drive efficiency of trade.”
Picture: ESG Trade Mission to Nigeria & Kenya (April 2018)
Since the visit, Arcadier has been able to secure a number of partnership agreements, the first being a distribution agreement with a Kenyan company to resell Arcadier’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product. Another is a partnership with Stripe-backed Nigerian payment gateway company, Paystack, which will enable Nigerian users to send and receive payments on their marketplaces developed on the Arcadier platform.
However, the most important partnership which Arcadier established was the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Cross River State Government of Nigeria. Arcadier’s digital marketplace technology will be used to sell the State’s cocoa beans and derivative processed products such as cocoa butter, powder & liquors directly to the rest of the world.
“Africa is experiencing a digital boom estimated to be a US$300 billion opportunity. Given the similarities of the growth trends in Africa to that which we are experiencing in Asia, Singapore companies are well positioned to work together with local partners to deploy innovative solutions tailored to suit the market’s needs. There is strong interest from our companies, from developing e-commerce platforms to supporting cross border payments. Enterprise Singapore is happy to have played a part in Arcadier’s entry into the continent. It reflects how size should not deter SMEs from making giant leaps. We hope more digital companies will rise to the call and partake in the Africa opportunity,” said Mr Rahul Ghosh, Regional Group Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Enterprise Singapore.
Picture: Udiba Effiong Udiba, Director General of Bureau, Public Private Partnerships, Cross River State, Nigeria; Kenneth Low, COO, Arcadier; Adaeze Ekwueme, President, Arcadier CocoaOne; Tang Jiunn Shyong, CFO, Arcadier