Senegal-based startup Kwely has launched the minimum viable product (MVP) version of its B2B online store for “Made in Africa” products, targeting small and large businesses globally.
Founded by Birame Sock, a tech entrepreneur who successfully exited two startups in the US, Kwely was launched under the premise that “Made In Africa” products have a place on the global market and can help boost African exports, as well as the continent’s industrial sector.
The startup focuses on the development of existing and new brands with local suppliers in order to get to export-ready status, a proprietary platform to support B2B wholesale transactions on the global market, and a packaging studio to provide the services needed to deliver products that meet international standards.
Kwely raised US$1 million in seed funding earlier this year, and earlier this month was named winner of the MEST Africa Challenge. Now, it has announced the launch of its platform, which allows international buyers to source high-quality, unique, and locally-made products from across the continent. Starting with “Made in Senegal” brands ranging from food, wellbeing, hair and skin care, the platform offers products that have been produced, tested and packaged following international standards.
“Today, we celebrate the launch of Kwely, your destination to the best that Africa has to offer. For a long time, “Made in Africa” products have not been given the value they deserve. The talented producers are usually hidden behind larger brands, hindering their ability to build a direct customer base and their own brand identity,” Sock said.
“Through Kwely, we are introducing to the world high-quality products sourced from small and medium-sized companies and we are unveiling rich and rare ingredients as well as the traditional workmanship of our continent. SMEs constitute the backbone of our economies. By connecting them to international buyers, we are fostering an inclusive economic growth but also impacting entire communities.”