Targeted at the ease of doing business amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a Nigeria-based provider of merchant infrastructure, Rensource, has launched a digital distribution platform, Merchlist, which seeks to help small and medium-scale retailers get discovered quickly while enabling servicing and fulfillment of customer orders online. Rensource, which launched in 2016 and raised $20 million in funding late 2019, is a renewable energy and merchant services company, powering the productivity of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) by building and operating clean energy-based micro-utilities for SME clusters in the country while offering value-added services to these merchants.
Merchlist, rapidly developed by Rensource, aims to keep SMEs viable during the pandemic via two main features. “Buy” allows customers to purchase directly from SMEs, while “Discover” aggregates services, contact details and delivery methods, ensuring that end users can see service availability in real-time. During the COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria, the startup hopes to further assist these businesses with its launch.
Partner SMEs on Merchlist include Grocery Bazaar, Grand Square, Rx Pharmacy, Food Jaar and The Meat Shop. While the platform is currently in its beta testing stage, only accepting a limited number of orders per day, the company said plans are underway to roll out in additional markets across Nigeria, allowing more SMEs and merchants to go digital and access end-users.
According to the startup’s Chief Operating Officer, Anu Adasolum, who issued a statement made available on the company’s website, recently, the company hopes to help SMEs succeed despite the lingering economic hardship on small businesses, occasioned by the pandemic.
“At Rensource we are focused on connecting people to the most important things. Energy has always been our core business but in light of the pandemic, we see the opportunity to help small businesses who are the backbone of our economy survive by gaining access to consumers online. “The launch of Merchlist will ensure that small businesses stay in business and everyday consumers can continue to access essential goods. Merchlist aims to connect as many small businesses as possible to the millions of internet users in Nigeria– simply, easily and quickly,” said Adasolum.