Market intelligence startup Rwazi has secured $4 million in seed funding to expand its services in emerging markets such as Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. The funding round was led by Bonfire Ventures, with participation from Newfund Capital and Alumni Ventures.
Rwazi aims to provide brands and multinational companies with reliable market intelligence that will enable them to make informed decisions when entering new markets.
Rwazi was launched in 2021 by Joseph Rutakangwa and Eric Sewankambo to address the challenges faced by brands seeking to understand the consumer behavior and market size of products in emerging markets.
As per the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 70% of Africans purchase their food, beverages, and personal care products from informal retail businesses such as small shops and kiosks. Due to this fact, tracking data on consumer behavior and the market size of products in these regions can be challenging.
To solve this problem, Rwazi allows consumers to log their purchases via a web or mobile app and receive compensation after their submissions have been verified. Unlike larger research firms that rely on sample information to make inferences, Rwazi collects detailed information such as the number of products bought, the frequency of purchases, and the consumer’s location.
The startup already has a network of 50,000 consumers that log their purchases and 18 multinational companies that track data on over 200 products, ranging from fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) to telecoms and healthcare. Rwazi plans to use the funding to expand into more markets and launch new products.
“We are rolling out new products this year that support different languages because this has been a barrier to our growth in these regions,” said Rutakangwa.
Rwazi’s platform enables multinationals to access data on the buyer, price of goods, retailer information, time of purchase and reason for purchase, which can help them drive revenue and expand their businesses. By collecting data directly from consumers, brands can do hyper-local messaging, pricing, and packaging.
Rwazi collects data such as product usage, frequency of consumption, and household budgets and income. The startup tailors its data collection approach to the needs of its customers who use its SaaS product.
Rutakangwa and Sewankambo launched Rwazi because they had previously struggled to obtain timely market insights in their previous jobs. The co-founders found that most available data, often collected by state agencies, was either outdated or focused on general trends and lacked the granularity needed to make accurate decisions.
Some brands are using Rwazi’s platform to determine locations for expansion or where to invest to boost their competitiveness. “Others are looking for new markets that are growing and have good demographics – regions where they can start establishing themselves to be able to capture future sales,” said Rutakangwa.
Rwazi is optimistic that its expansion plans and new product launches will be supported by the recent seed funding round. The startup plans to continue to expand and build more products and services that enable brands to gain a better understanding of emerging markets, and ultimately help them to make informed decisions about their business strategies.
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