Nigerian startup Losode is an online marketplace that connects consumers with fashion businesses, empowering entrepreneurs with business growth tools that make it easier for them to scale their businesses and maximise sale opportunities.
Launched by Aderonke Ajose-Adeyemi in 2020, having been run as a side project before that, Losode says it is building the digital infrastructure to enable trade and commerce across the continent, and overcome long standing barriers to economic development, starting with fashion.
“Despite Africa being a creative hub of talented fashion designers, the absence of effective platforms to drive sales is hampering growth opportunities for designers. From statement pieces to everyday items, fashion items are always in demand in Nigeria but getting products into the hands of consumers has been the challenge,” Ajose-Adeyemi told Disrupt Africa.
“We all know that the talent and the market is there but we need more effective platforms to connect buyers and sellers in a way that works for everybody and that is what we are building.”
She said the startup’s competition is mainly the open markets where businesses typically set up to attract the customers and support they need.
“These spaces provide more than just buying and selling opportunities for entrepreneurs. They often support businesses with a wide range of tools to drive growth and profitability. We want to replicate this experience in a digital context and ultimately build a global marketplace where consumers from across the world can access African brands and brands can leverage our network to reach African consumers,” said Ajose-Adeyemi.
Losode has raised some seed funding but mostly bootstrapped to date, yet has seen over 20 per cent month-on-month growth in users on the platform over the last six months.
“We expect this growth trend to continue as we begin to make more strategic moves to increase awareness and acquire more users,” Ajose-Adeyemi said.
“We are now engaging investors to secure the funds we need to roll out our platform and bring more businesses and consumers onboard.”
Based in Nigeria, the startup also has sellers in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa on its platform.
“We will take a phased approach as we roll out to the 46 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, deciding which cities we are active in by assessing GDP, commercial activity and population size,” said Ajose-Adeyemi.
“We have earmarked 15 countries in our first phase, and this includes some of Nigeria’s neighbouring countries. We will also be actively listening for cities and countries calling out for us. Ultimately, we are building a global brand. We are also exploring other sectors beyond fashion where our technology can deliver real impact, smash existing trade borders and equip entrepreneurs to do big business.”
The startup makes money by charging a commission on items sold, as well as smart advertising.