Nigeria-based B2B eCommerce firm Sabi has raised $38 million in Series B funding. Sabi is providing digital commerce infrastructure to Africa’s informal economy, has raised $38 million in Series B funding at a valuation of $300 million signaling revived investor interest in a B2B e-commerce market going through some reckoning.
Frankfurt-based specialist fintech investor CommerzVentures, Stockholm-based but Africa-focused growth-stage investor Norrsken22, U.S.-based growth-stage funds Fluent Ventures and Proof VC and pan-African early-stage investors CRE Venture Capital and Janngo Capital are some of the investors in this round, the people said.
The informal trade sector makes up most of Africa’s $1 trillion retail market. The largely fragmented industry has welcomed innovation from several startups trying to connect informal retailers to manufacturers and large wholesalers via digital platforms like apps and a network of logistics and distribution services over the last couple of years.
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.”