Powered by People, an African company, has received $5 Million in funding Susa Ventures and Golden Ventures led a $5 million seed round for Powered by People, a Kenyan wholesale e-commerce platform, with participation from Flexport Ventures, J Ventures, and Fabric’s founders.
Powered By People is a mobile-first, distributed manufacturing platform that offers financing solutions and online tools. It also provides a marketplace for small and middle-sized businesses in the creative and handmade sectors. Ella Peinovich (Hedvig Alexander) and Alison Phillips started the startup in 2019. More than 200 companies and 45,000 artisans from 47 countries work with the company to sell to retailers like West Elm or The Citizenry in major regions such as North America, Asia and North America. Powered by People connects small businesses with retailers who value supply-chain transparency, sustainability, and small-batch production — businesses that are likewise motivated by the need for diversity and have promised to help small businesses stay up with the surge of conscious consumers. The company’s annualized run rate was $15 million in total gross merchandise values by mid-March. They plan to increase that number to $25 million by year end. The platform’s average order value is $1,200. The new funding will be used by the company to increase transaction volumes and to expand the number of small companies that use its online B2B platform to connect to foreign buyers.