Copia Kenya launches e-commerce platform for buying and sending goods upcountry

Copia Kenya, a company providing goods to underserved consumers in rural parts of Kenya through e-commerce, has launched a new online shopping solution that makes it easier for people living in urban areas to buy goods and have them delivered to their friends and family upcountry.

The new service consists of an e-commerce website that provides consumers living in urban areas of Kenya the ability to shop for products ranging from household goods, to farming tools, electronics, construction materials and more. At checkout, all a customer needs to do is provide the phone number of the friend or family member upcountry. Copia does the rest – locating the recipient, identifying the nearest delivery centre agent among its thousands of agents and delivering the goods in two to four days. 

This model transforms e-commerce by affording both urban shoppers and their rural family and friends greater choice, affordability and convenience when shopping for everyday items.

“Copia’s rapid growth in just five years shows the demand that exists among Kenyans in both rural and urban areas for digitally-powered solutions that make their day-to-day shopping needs easier.” said Tim Steel, CEO, Copia Kenya while speaking during the launch of Copia Online at Tatu City Industrial Park.

Copia is the only e-commerce company in Kenya delivering goods beyond rural towns to interior areas. Its state of the art distribution model is anchored by a network of more than 3,700 agents across Central Kenya and parts of Rift Valley. The agents are typically small shopkeepers who operate as ordering and distribution centres within their rural communities.

To date, Copia has fulfilled more than 2 million orders and served over 300,000 customers while providing an additional source of income to its agents.

The launch of Copia’s new online shopping service comes just after their move into a new international standard, grade-A logistics and distribution hub at Tatu City Industrial Park. The 4,000 sq m modern facility helps streamline the fulfillment of customer orders and will help facilitate Copia’s expansion into Western Kenya and other parts of the country.

“E-commerce has the potential to transform Kenya’s economy while helping to uplift the living standards of millions of people. However, this can only happen if they are rolled-out with logistics and distribution solutions tailor-made to work for Kenya,” Steel added.

Copia, which is Latin for “abundance” was founded by Silicon Valley veterans Tracey Turner and Jonathan Lewis and started operations in Kenya in 2013. Their vision is to democratize ecommerce in Africa by bringing the power of e-commerce to hundreds of millions of middle and low-income Africans, transforming this historically neglected market into empowered global consumers. Copia’s goal is to make e-commerce accessible to all regardless of location, financial status and internet access. Copia operates a network of digitally-enabled agents who operate as e-commerce ordering and delivery points. The agent network is supported by a fulfillment and distribution system.

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