Kenya’s Powered By People Gets Seed Funding Of $5 Million To Scale Its e-Commerce Operations

Ella Peinovich, CEO and co-founder of Powered by People

Powered by People, a wholesale e-commerce platform located in Kenya, has secured $5 million in seed financing. The round was led by Susa Ventures with Golden Ventures and saw the participation of other investors including the founders of sports betting company DraftKings, J Ventures and Flexport Ventures. Following the round, the total amount raised by the platform runs into a total of $7 million.

Powered by People, which has hubs in Europe, Asia and the Americas, plans to use the newly-received funding to grow the number of micro businesses and small names using its platform, to eradicate the barriers of being able to reach buyers in other countries. Basically, the platform connects its users (small businesses and brands looking for foreign expansion) to buyers around the world.

Currently, it has more than 200 brands and over 45,000 artisans from more than 45 countries under its wings, and connects them to retailers like The Citizenry and West Elm existing in markets in North America and Asia.

“We are providing these businesses with new visibility into the specialty retail market in North America. We have also introduced them to wholesale, which we think is the best way to source from any country, and make business sense too,” the startup said. While the platform has an average order of $1,200, it also recorded a yearly run rate of $15 million in GMV in March and forecasts growth to reach $25 million by at most the year’s end.

Moving forward and as part of its strategies for growth, the startup wants to start extending up to 50 percent advance financing to assist traders to process their customer orders. The advance will be given on a 120-day window and will attract 1 5 percent interest rate. Powered by People says it has extended $5.8 million in credit to traders and increase it by an additional $10 million before the end of the year. “It is absolutely true that a lot of our makers would not take on larger transactions because they don’t have the cash flow. We are extending them the financing to enable them to scale up their businesses,” Powered by People co-founder and CEO Ella Peinovich said.

Powered by People has a big focus on artisans. It was founded in 2019 by Ella Peinovich, Hedvig Alexander and Alison Philips, to help small brands and artisans have a global reach. The idea was to create a marketplace for artisans, give them access to credit as well as business management tools and helpo them scale their businesses.

“We are going to continue building up our technology. We have new vendor tools we are launching this quarter that will help streamline and automate things to help these businesses take on bigger orders and grow. We are also investing in building our senior leadership,” CEO Ella Peinovich said about the funding.

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