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MarketForce Needs More Cash, but this Time from the Public

The Kenyan e-commerce giant announced that it is raising $1 million via WeFunder, an online crowdfunding service. “We are excited to launch this small community funding round with a maximum raise of $1,000,000 so that our community, including avid supporters, partners and customers, can invest in the company and become part owners early in our journey,” a blog post on MarketForce’s website reads. “We’re doing this because we believe that a company like MarketForce provides the opportunity to generate financial upside, not only for the merchants and partners that we serve but also for people who understand and believe that what we are building is important for the continent.” The company will accept investments from as little as $1,000 at the same terms used for its Series A round. However, it says not all investors will receive their desired investment amount. This move makes MarketForce Africa’s largest company by valuation to attempt to raise money from retail investors. But why are they choosing this method, and how potent has it been for its ‘predecessors’?