NAIROBI, Kenya and TORONTO— Powered by People (“PBP”), a digital wholesale platform, said that it has raised USD 8 million in series A equity capital. The money will be put to use by the business to expand its technologies and global operations. PBP offers digital solutions to small-batch, independent creator brands from more than 70 countries, enabling them to market and sell their sustainably produced products to consumers and businesses on a large scale. Golden Ventures and Susa Ventures, two of PBP’s current investors, joined the equity round, which Altos Ventures headed.
“Driven by People is changing the wholesale industry by allowing local manufacturers to reach a global audience while giving retailers access to distinctive and sustainable products,” stated Tae Yoon of Altos Ventures. “We are ecstatic to assist the creative and mission-driven PBP team as they forge a more just and technologically advanced future for the industry.”
Also, PBP has been given funds totaling an additional US$5.6 million from other charitable organizations, including TRANSFORM. PBP’s distinctive blended capital strategy has demonstrated that it can help partners achieve financial success while also having a good social and environmental effect. These new awards empower hitherto unsupported manufacturers in Africa and elsewhere by giving them access to PBP’s online marketplace and broader range of financing choices.
The CEO of Powered by People, Ella Peinovich-Griffith, remarked, “Our successful investment round is compelling evidence that ‘doing good’ can be a source of competitive advantage. “At PBP, we’ve observed a change in the power dynamic away from ubiquitous, mass-produced industrial items and toward artisanal producers and brands making rare things. The greatest retailers are seeking unique, ethically-driven products from various companies in response to the changing nature of retail to draw in and keep customers.
Although the handcrafted and small-batch industry is expected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum, it has historically lacked investment, technology, and access to international markets. PBP is leveling the playing field for makers to compete worldwide with much more prominent manufacturers of factory-made items by leveraging technology for good.
PBP collaborates with over 2,500 brands and manufacturers from more than 70 nations to offer merchants access to premium, ethically produced goods in the home, fashion, jewelry, and apothecary areas. Independent shops in important markets, up to big-box stores like West Elm, Pottery Barn, Banana Republic, and The Citizenry, serve as customers.
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