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Ethiopian B2B e-commerce platform Jemla, which assists retailers in accessing Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) at competitive prices, is gearing up for an app update along with the introduction of a credit facility.

Launched in December 2021, Jemla serves as a bridge between souqs, traditional retail outlets, and various manufacturers, offering a promise of 24-hour doorstep delivery. Its objective is to establish a dependable and cost-effective supply chain, streamlining the fragmented traditional system of delivery. Additionally, Jemla provides retailers with inventory and data insights to enhance and streamline their operations.

“Through our forthcoming app update, we are integrating a range of digital payment options, empowering our customers to effortlessly pay for a diverse array of products,” states Estephanos Zewudie, co-founder and CEO of Jemla.

Furthermore, Jemla is working on providing credit facilities that enable small-scale retailers to access working capital based on their purchasing behavior. This credit offering is anticipated to enable retailers to procure products on credit terms, thereby enhancing their procurement efficiency and growth potential. Agreements with partner financial institutions are currently being finalized, with the launch scheduled in a few weeks.

“Upon the launch of the credit feature, businesses will be required to meet basic criteria such as possessing a valid business license, tax identification number, and government ID,” explains Michael Mekonnen, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Jemla. “We will also assess their creditworthiness based on their past transactions on our platform, in collaboration with other financial institutions.”

Jemla caters to a diverse range of businesses, including kiosks, hotels, restaurants, cafes, offices, and apartments. Currently, it has over 10,000 registered retailers in Addis Ababa. 

In 2023, Jemla was selected as one of four startups to participate in the Catalyst Job Tech accelerator, securing a $50,000 fund to fuel its expansion plans. Additionally, Jemla has garnered support from investors such as Kazana Group and others.

Jemla also provides partner manufacturers and importers with access to valuable data, enabling them to make informed decisions. While currently operating in Addis Ababa, Jemla has ambitions to expand to other regions and cities in Ethiopia, extending its services to underserved areas and offering them a reliable route to market.

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Etenat holds a degree in Journalism and a a master's in Public Relations. Previously, she served as a university lecturer and has five years of experience in communications, media, digital marketing, and consulting.