Teoforma's mission is to make it easy to do business in the informal sector

We are an end to end ecommerce business. Our technology makes the selling process in the informal sector less expensive and more effective by using internet technology instead of humans.

The Informal Retail Market Is Highly Fragmented

  • UK and US market – Companies like Unilever, Nestle, Coca-Cola, P&G etc, need to maintain relationships with a handful of big retailers
  • African, developing and emerging markets – Companies need to deal with a large number of individuals and small businesses - distributors, wholesalers, retailers and kiosks. Over 90% of all retail outlets are small independent stores and they are responsible for providing products to over 3 billion consumers in developing and emerging countries in Africa, Asia and South America

Example - How many small stores

Emerging markets 50M
Nigeria 500K
Keny 100K
Ghana 100K
Egypt 120k
South Africa 130K
India 14M
Bangladesh 500k
Indonesia 3M
Philippines 1M
Malaysia 33K
Thailand 400K
Vietnam 600K
China 7M
Brazil 1M
Mexico 800K
Columbia 400K
The Challenge

High Cost To Serve

Selling process and getting goods (often in small order sizes) to a large number of small shops frequently is complicated, expensive, inefficient and time-consuming.


Reasons For The High Cost To Serve

  • Dealing with large number of small businesses and individuals
  • Large sales force needed
  • Face to face contact at a physical location by salespeople
  • Frequent delivery of small order size to many destinations
  • Limited reach due to coverage by sales team
  • Late payments, uncollectable credit etc.
  • Bad and congested roads
Our Solution

Our solution uses internet and mobile technology to make the selling process less expensive and more efficient:

  • Replicates the activities of a sales rep
    • Track sales – order, invoice, payment and delivery
    • Track stock – location, amount, incoming & outgoing
    • Track shipments – know where the product is
    • Reduces need for large number of salespeople
    • Eliminates need face-to-face sales visits
    • Reach customers easily
  • Process high volume, low-value orders quickly and efficiently
    • Eliminates manual paper processing
    • Automate orders
    • Automate invoicing
    • Automate collection
    • Automate delivery
    • Automate reporting
    • Get automatic stock level updates
  • Automated payment collection for credit sales
    Collect funds from your customers' account at the time they are expected to pay back
    • Offer payment on account
    • Reduces uncollectable credit
    • Reduces late payments
    • Reduces trade receivable
    • Eliminates cash handling
    • Get paid faster
  • Reduce transportation costs
    • Eliminates complex and expensive delivery models - direct delivery to store
    • Coverts a fragmented outlet base into a quick and low-cost last mile delivery model - Click and collect
    • Eliminates need for expensive storage spaces. Leverage stockroom of your distributors, retailers and wholesalers
Our Product

An Online Marketplace – a type of e-commerce website that connects those looking to provide a product (sellers) with those looking to buy that product (buyers)

We connect all the trading partners across the supply chain allowing them to do business with each other easily.

Primary Sales From Manufacturer to distributors
Secondary Sales From Manufacturer / Distributor to retailers and wholesalers
Tertiary Sales From Manufacturer / Distributor to consumers (individuals and businesses)
How It Works

Diagram showing how Teoformaworks
What Makes Us Different

What makes our ecommerce business different?

Leverage Existing Assets

Use your existing assets to run a profitable online operation:

  • Depots
  • Warehouses
  • Stockrooms
  • Wholesalers
  • Sales team
  • Vehicles
  • Promotions
  • Customers
  • Distributors

End-to-End E-Commerce Platform

Connects trading partners across the supply chain:

Manufacturers » Distributors » Wholesalers » Retailers » Consumers

Complements Existing Assets

  • Complements rather than trying to break or replace it
  • Appeases entire ecosystem
  • Limits resistance from stakeholders

Complete Control over your business

  • Price
  • Brand
  • Data
  • Stock

Suppliers – Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors


Make Money

Reach and service customers faster, quicker and better all at a lower cost

Save Money

Reduction in selling costs

Pass savings to customers in the form of lower prices, discounts and promotions

Reduce Risk

Collect funds from your customers' account at the time they are expected to pay back

Lower Capital Requirements

Lowers capital requirements needed to become a distributor (lowers the barrier of entry):

  • Bank guarantee
  • Working capital
  • Deposit
  • Expensive buildings for storage space
  • Distributor can invest savings to run their business
    (storage space, staff, IT systems, vehicles, generators, office, money to buy initial stock)
  • Wholesalers/retailers can become distributors

Visibility into and control of supply chain

See flow of money, information and goods

Full control of product pricing and listing

Marketing & promotion directly to customers (consumers and retailers)

Fast and detailed customer feedback

Access to customer spending data

Reserve and pay on collection

Allows customer to inspect the order before money is collected

Reserve and pay on collection eliminates:

Logistics complexity – returnes, refunds etc.

Cost & expense of cash on delivery and logistics service provided by online retailers

Trust issues – delivery times, right products, quality, returns, refunds etc.

Sales Rep

Frees up sales rep time

To get more business. To find new customers

Leverage salespeople

Reach new customers without all the sales legwork

As salesforce automation tool

Check inventory, pricing, process invoices and access account info

Not cutting sales cost but relocating sales $


  • Consumers – Individuals and Households
  • Retail customers - Small shops, Restaurants, Hotels, Clubs, Bars, Cooperatives, Events, Airlines, Kiosks and Street Vendors etc.
  • Trade customers – Wholesalers, Distributors etc.

Lower prices

Free delivery

Fast delivery


Access to high-quality products

Unlimited access to suppliers of choice

Reserve & pay on collection:

Allows customer to inspect the order before money is collected

Eliminates trust issues – delivery, right product, quality, returns & refunds etc.

Case Study

Hypothetical Consumer Company operating in Nigeria

1. About the Company

Annual Sales $500m
Customer segmentation
No. of Distributors 500
No. of Wholesalers (Sub-Distributors) 7K
No. of retail outlets in the market 500K+ An impossibly large number for company to reach using sales people
Category A outlets – Highest priority 100K Law of the vital few "80% of sales comes from 20% of customer."
Category B outlets – Low priority 400K
Consumers 8M Households
40M Nigerians
Sales force coverage
No. of Sales people 1K+
Sales visits per day 20K+
Sales force are on the road for 4 key reasons:
  • Visit distributors
  • Visit retail outlets
  • Support distributors
  • Delivery to customer
Transportation – 90% of commercial activities done by road
Km driven per month 1M+
Annual Transportation cost $100M
Trade Receivables
Annual Trade Receivables $100M

2. The Challenge for our Hypothetical Company

  • Reach all customers (distributors, retailers and consumers) in an easy, efficient and profitable manner
  • Need a reliable and secure way of collecting trade receivables
  • Need a quick, low-cost delivery method to get goods to customers

3. How Our Solution Solves These Challenges

Sales Process How It Works Result cost-saving benefits
Placing the order

Provides the customer with all the information they need to place an order without the need for a sales or delivery person. Customer can see the following:

  • Product information
  • Pricing options
  • Promotions and discounts
  • Stock availability at depot level
  • Delivery options
  • Order status
  • Invoices
  • Credit limit
  • Available credit
  • Account balance
  • Account statement
  • Reach customers easily
  • Eliminate the need for sales rep driving around on bad and congested roads visiting customers
Paying for the order

View invoices and account statements online

Automated payment collection and bill payment for credit sales

Collect funds from your customers' account at the time they are expected to pay back using various payment methods such as cards, bank account and mobile payment

Reserve online, pay and collect in depot (Click and Reserve)

This provides a quicker online checkout process as the customer doesn't need to enter any payment details before checking out. Eliminates complexity reverse logistics such as returns and refunds. There is also a greater chance they will add to their order in-depot as they won't need to do another separate transaction once they collect their goods

  • Offer payment on account easily
  • Reduce uncollectable credit
  • Reduce late payments
  • Reduce trade receivable
  • Eliminate cash handling
  • Improve cash flow
  • Get paid on time
Picking the order

Leverage and use existing storage spaces and facilities as depots:

  • Traditional Warehouse (owned by manufacture, distributor or 3rd party)
  • Traditional Depot (owned by manufacture, distributor or 3rd party)
  • Shipping Container (e.g. Guinness Nigeria containerised depots for rural distribution)
  • Retailers stockroom
  • Wholesalers stockroom
  • Petrol Station stockroom
  • Truck/Van – stationed at highly-populated, dense residential areas (housing estates, college campuses, closes, barracks) with large population and little retail presence
  • Spare room
  • Garage

Share depot level product availability with customers

Telling them which depot have which items in stock. This means customers can go to the nearest depot with the item in stock and pick it up immediately

Distributors pick orders from inventory sitting in their depot

  • Eliminates the need for expensive buildings
  • Expand the reach of Click & Collect service without a vast and expensive estate
Delivering the order

Customer picks up orders from nearby depot

  • Fast delivery
  • Free delivery
  • Convenience
  • Reduction in transportation cost for depot
  • Eliminates the need for frequent delivery of small order sizes to many destinations
  • Eliminates complex logistics such as returns and refunds
  • Converts a fragmented outlet base into a quick and low-cost last mile delivery model