Yib-backed Namibian startup JABU earns $ 3.2M for its e-commerce and B2B sales - TechCrunch
Namibia’s business-to-business e-commerce startup JABU has confirmed to TechCrunch that they have raised a $ 3.2 million funding round.
The seed tour, which closed last year, welcomed investors such as Afore Capital, Y Combinator, FJ Labs, Quiet Capital, Kli Capital, Pareto Capital and unnamed angels.
As a last-mile e-commerce ecommerce company, JABU brings together a list of startups across the continent that help small retailers order and store and, at the same time, deliver their products data-driven services for suppliers and manufacturers.
CEO David Akinin founded JABU in mid-2022 to repair Namibia’s inefficient and virtually non-existent supply chain and circulation.
Its platform connects more than 6,000 retailers with local and multinational suppliers - such as Namibia Breweries Limited, ABInBev, Bokomo, Coca-Cola, Namibmills - and digitizes orders, payments and logistics.
The Namibian start-up company has its fleet of vehicles along with eight distribution centers. Suppliers have editorials that use the platform to see where their products are being delivered, look at key performance indicators and book merchandising. They can also run advertising and marketing campaigns at shops, offer products and tap in merchandising revenue.
JABU operated in stealth mode for much of last year. He joined Y Combinator at the summer batch of the accelerator in 2022, the first time for Namibia's start.
The startup business is not appearing on our reserve list as it has canceled their Demo Day to this year’s winter batch, where up to 15 African startups started. Yes selected by Y Combinator, according to some sources.
Last year saw venture capital firms and institutional investors struggling to support business-to-business e-commerce start-ups. One of the earliest in space, the Nigerian B2B e-commerce platform TradeDepot, raised $ 110 million in debt and equity. Start-up companies from other parts of Africa that have built investments include Chari Morocco, Capiter of Egypt and MaxAB, and Kenya's Twiga and MarketForce.
JABU shines a light on the South African region. The company operates in three Namibian cities and has recently expanded to two Zambian cities.. Its monthly GMV has grown 25x and the average growth of delivery SKUs stands at almost to + 53% per month - the change in the Dent exchange rate. The company said revenue has also seen 35x growth within the same timeframe.
Like most African countries, Namibia is heavily dependent on money. And JABU - benefiting from owning their supply chain - is making efforts to digitize their corporate fundraising processes through wallets.
When the money arrives from JABU distribution center vendors, it will as usual it takes 48 hours to settle into the banks. Instead of going through this straightforward process, JABU wallets allow buyers to deposit and withdraw money instantly in line with these institutions.
"Our numbers have grown so much that we have raised so much money in corporate money, the banks and others have sat down and said, 'How can we fix this?? ' I mean, we went from getting R100,000 pairs (rands) a week to Namibian millions of dollars. And we realized that there was something better and bigger than we were initially involved in, ”said Akinin about why the company is creating wallets for their buyers.
Akinin said the next phase of the JABU wallets system would see buyers offering other services to consumers in addition to their digital currency.
“The only way to do that is to partner with the buyers, and they will go through a [know your customer] process, we make sure the buyers have the right place and the right account to back their float. And then they trade with their customers. So we are entering the B2B2C space through the buyers we work with, ”he said.
JABU's revenue is largely derived from self-generated circulation or through third-party fleets. Marketing and targeted marketing and advertising also bring in money for the company. It accepts commissions from transactions made on future buyers' wallets.
Akinin, who previously owned Google as a sales and commodity analyst, spent part of his professional career as an investment banker at Credit Suisse.. He would then visit major African cities such as Johannesburg, Lagos and Addis Ababa, but it was in Windhoek that he found the spark to try something new.
Namibia was in high demand for housing at the time. Akinin launched a start-up company to offer digital mortgages, but went to a construction company with a presence in Namibia, Zambia and Cameroon.
As a result of the pandemic, construction company Akinin started a COVID relief program to supply food in Namibia. He then joined the country's B2B e-commerce retail opportunity.
“We went into the informal sector and realized that the town had closed all informal retailers.. And when they did, we had this software that we had developed to digitize housing demand, ”he said, describing how JABU got started.
“Sinn employing 40 people from the community and in about a week or two, we registered 1,000 existing shops has been affected this closure. We have realized that here is a great opportunity not only to help them reopen but to realize something very important here that they do not have a supply chain and have no way of locating the goods. at a reasonable price. ”
Informal selling is still king in Africa. A study by PwC found that informal channels such as booths and mom - and - pop stores make up 90% of sales in major African economies.. The chances are so high that some startups, such as Nigerian B2B Sabi sales platform (a Rensource spinoff), said they were processing nearly $ 12 million GMV monthly, TechCrunch learned in an interview with the its founders in November.
JABU, with more than 200 employees, is preparing for a Series A fundraiser this quarter, Akinin told TechCrunch. First use the round seeds and after that growth cycle expansion to Botswana and South Africa, growth of their technical and operational team, and training of its site representatives.