As we began our exploration into retail and the so-called B2B commerce platforms, we kept asking about the nature of last-mile retail. Why is it so fragmented? And can we expect retail consolidation? In this episode, we explore why retail looks the way that it does in African markets, and how B2B commerce platforms are working to empower retailers in the context of the way in which last-mile retail works to meet the demands of their customers, the mass-market consumers across the continent. These platforms aggregate demand at the fragmented last mile, to ensure that products not only get to consumers but get to consumers more efficiently, with the aim to ultimately reduce the costs of goods, which, as we talked about last episode, are disproportionately expensive in African markets.[05:12] - Why is retail in Africa so fragmented? As Twiga Foods' Peter Njonjo explains, it's largely due to the rate of population growth in urban cities across the continent.[07:42] - How are B2B commerce platforms attempting to provide solutions for retailers in the context of massive fragmentation? We go on a journey of discovery with ZUMI's William McCarren.[14:29] - So what exactly do B2B commerce platforms do, and how does retailer aggregation work? Sokowatch's Daniel Yu explains.[16:52] - And as a result, these platforms can offer embedded finance offerings to SMEs and retailers who may not have previously had access to credit.[22:07] - On the back of demand aggregation, platforms like Twiga Foods and Sokowatch are both needing to invest further upstream at the supply level of the value chain, as well.[31:30] - A retrospective conversation with The Flip's host, Justin Norman, and b-mic, Sayo Folawiyo.This season is sponsored by MFS Africa.All this season, we're exploring value chains. And in the payments value chain, no fintech has a wider reach on the continent than MFS Africa. Through their network of over 180 partners - MNOs, banks, NGOs, fintechs, and global enterprises - MFS Africa's API hub makes connects over 320 million mobile wallets across 30+ countries in Africa.