Sabi, a B2B marketplace serving Nigeria’s $244 informal trade sector, today announced the close of a $6 million bridge round to support its fast-paced growth in Nigeria and extend its services to other countries.
The bridge round was led by CRE Venture Capital, an investment firm that was also involved in Sabi’s $2 million seed round in 2020.
According to the startup, the investment will fuel the company’s rapid growth as it eyes new markets including South Africa, a country whose informal trade sector contributes to at least 15% of its GDP and 18% of its hiring capacity.
Launched in 2020 as a spinoff of Rensource, an African energy company offering power-as-a-service to customers, Sabi provides merchants and resellers with business tools and services that help them reach new customers, improve cash flow, and streamline logistics.
The startup targeted the over 41 million MSMEs in Nigeria that need efficient platforms that can connect them to business tools and services that help them reach new customers, improve cash flow, and streamline logistics. On Sabi, merchants can manage their profiles conveniently via offline and online channels. They can also access sales and inventory management tools, buy and sell products, track business performance, and access financing, all in one platform.
Sabi’s extension to South Africa will be the company’s second expansion since launch. According to the company, it recently became operational in Kenya where it wants to help the country’s 7.4 million MSMEs. Speaking about the expansion, Ademola Adesina, co-founder of Sabi, said, “Now that Sabi is operational all across Nigeria, we look forward to bringing our solution into new markets with similar informal sector challenges, starting with Kenya and then South Africa. Sabi’s team, platform, and investors are ready to continue scaling Sabi into Africa’s leading B2B marketplace.”
In Nigeria, Sabi’s solutions are providing over 175,000 merchants manage their businesses and make B2B transactions. The startup also claims that its merchants have recorded over $1.2 billion worth of sales via MyShop, its ERP tool, and are on track to transact over $80 million annualised on MerchBuy, its B2B marketplace, by the end of 2021.
Speaking on its $6 million raise, CEO Anu Adasolum commented, “We are excited to have closed this bridge round as Sabi continues to grow at an incredible pace. Our merchant users are taking advantage of every part of our platform, and the quality of the B2B partners we have brought onto the market is clear from the ever-increasing transaction volume.”
Pardon Makumbe, co-founder and Managing Partner of CRE Venture Capital, added, “CRE Venture Capital is proud to support Sabi’s continued growth across Nigeria and expansion into Kenya and South Africa. Sabi’s online/offline approach to serving informal businesses, combined with the quality of its platform and service provider curation, has clearly taken root in Nigeria. The company is on track to be one of the fastest-growing African companies of 2021 and is showing no signs of slowing down.”