Appletree sets out to raise $5bn for African e-commerce digital ecosystem

Appletree digital commerce, has unveiled the Taking One Million African Traders Online Movement (TOMATO), its solution to the lack of opportunities for the youth across Africa.

According to Appletree, existing business models cannot sustain the projected growth in Africa’s young population, but the internet offers a vast number of opportunities.

The company pointed to a paper from The World Bank, the Exploring the Relationship between Broadband and Economic Growth paper, which outlined that growth follows the internet; and studies reveal that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita growth is 2.7 to 3.9% higher after the introduction of broadband. In developing nations, a 10%-point increase in broadband reach translates to a 1.35 % increase in GDP. Where it doesn’t create whole new businesses, broadband connectivity can lower costs and increase returns.

Appletree Digital Commerce has partnered with technical partners around the world to create a digital ecosystem with which they aim to take at least one million African traders (SME Retailers) online.

The company estimates that for an SME to setup an e-commerce solution it will cost about $5,000. Most African SME’s cannot afford that; so it is in that light that they have set an ambitious goal to raise $5bn within the next 10 years to allow them to give one million African SME’s $5,000 grants in the form of e-commerce solution.

To begin with, Appletree has put together “The Africa’s Best Jobs Crowdfund Prize Draw” whose goal is to raise $263m while at the same time creating opportunities for 38 individuals which will be life changing.

Digital payments network MFS Africa recently raised an additional $100m in debt and equity for its Series C round, just six months after the initial close.

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