Sokowatch, the East African e-commerce company which uses innovative technology to improve supply chain inefficiencies, was selected among hundreds of candidates as one of the World Economic Forum’s “Technology Pioneers”. Sokowatch which currently has over 22,000 active shops across 9 major cities in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda serves informal retailers that the mass market rely heavily on for essential goods.
The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the use of new technologies and innovation that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.
With their selection as Technology Pioneer, Global CEO Daniel Yu of Sokowatch will be invited to participate at World Economic Forum activities, events and discussions throughout the year. Sokowatch will also contribute to Forum initiatives over the next two years, working with global leaders to help address key industry and societal issues.
“We’re excited to welcome Sokowatch to our 2021 cohort of Technology Pioneers,” says Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum. “Sokowatch and its fellow pioneers are developing technologies that can help society solve some of its most pressing issues. We look forward to their contribution to the World Economic Forum in its commitment to improving the state of the world.”
“It’s a great privilege to be acknowledged as a pioneer by the World Economic Forum”, said Sokowatch’s Daniel Yu. “We are continuously looking at how technology can transform the supply chain for informal retailers and improve access to goods for the mass market. The informal retail sector makes up 80% of total retail but is extremely fragmented; introducing technology has enabled a simplified and seamless process that is slowly turning a traditionally unprofitable market into a profitable one.”
For the first time in the community’s history, over 30% of the cohort are led by women. The firms also come from regions all around the world, extending their community far beyond Silicon Valley. This year’s cohort includes start-ups from 26 countries, with UAE, El Salvador, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe represented for the first time.
The diversity of these companies extends to their innovations as well with 2021 Tech Pioneer firms shaping the future by advancing technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, biotechnology and many more.
Technology Pioneers have been selected based on the community’s selection criteria, which includes innovation, impact and leadership as well as the company’s relevance with the World Economic Forum’s Platforms.
Sokowatch is a solutions based e-commerce platform, using innovative tech to improve the inefficiencies in the supply chain. Sokowatch enables informal retailers to order products at any time via SMS or mobile app, receiving free same-day delivery to their store. And through its data tracking of real-time sales, shop owners are able to purchase goods from manufacturers and distributors at competitive prices based on supply and demand. With over 22,000 shop owners in its network, Sokowatch is revolutionizing access to essential goods and services in 9 major cities across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda.
The World Economic Forum (WEF), committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
The WEF believes that innovation is critical to the future well-being of society and to driving economic growth. Launched in 2000, the Technology Pioneer community is composed of early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.
The WEF provides the Technology Pioneers community with a platform to engage with the public- and private-sector leaders and to contribute new solutions to overcome the current crisis and build future resiliency.