Nigeria: Sabi Raises $38 Million for B2B Marketplace Serving African Retailers

Sabi Raises 38 Million for B2B Marketplace Serving African Retailers 1
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Nigeria-based B2B eCommerce firm Sabi has raised $38 million in Series B funding.

This funding round values the company at $300 million, TechCrunch reported Friday (May 19, 2023).

Sabi acknowledged the report by retweeting a tweet by Lexi Novitske, general partner at growth-stage investor Norrsken22, that said, “Well, I guess the news is out.”

Sabi aims to serve the 50 million small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Africa by providing technology, tools and access to products and services, according to the company’s website. Its platform brings together merchants, importers, exporters and manufacturers to facilitate the distribution of goods and services.

Sabi offers a digital B2B marketplace, an inventory management tool, sales order management and digital ledger tools, and a payment reconciliation tool, per the site. It also leverages technology to assist with sourcing and aggregation, collateral verification and management, and traceability.

“At Sabi, we adopt an ecosystem-based approach that considers manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers as merchants, ensuring a highly adaptable and responsive strategy in line with market dynamics,” Sabi said in a video accompanying a tweet.

In another video accompanying Novitske’s tweet, Norrsken22 said that 90% of retail transactions in Africa flow through informal channels; that traders trying to reach those informal retailers have distribution systems that are manual, expensive and opaque; and that the retailers themselves have difficulty accessing credit, inventory procurement and bulk pricing.

“Sabi has emerged as the central utility for basic-goods purchases, production inputs and access to financial services, meeting the needs of both the retail customer and the traders that engage with them, benefiting from network effects, leveraging a lean, data-driven, technology first platform,” Norrsken22 said in the video. “We believe Africa’s fastest-growing markets will orbit around the Sabi platform.”

The report comes about a week after Wasoko, a B2B marketplace, announced that it has moved into Zambia as part of a broader expansion in Africa.

Aside from its efforts in Zambia, Wasoko is doubling its service radius in the countries where it already does business — Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda — where it has a network of more than 200,000 informal retailers and delivered over 5 million orders.

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