Kenyan based eCommerce company, Sky.Garden,which is works as a ”Shopify for Africa”, has raised a $1.2 million to launch its next generation merchant platform later this year and expand across East Africa.
The funding round was led by Jesper Drescher, TRK Group based in Norway, The Katapult Accelerator Follow-up Fund, and a syndicate of Danish Business Angels led by Futuristic.vc.
According to Daniel Maison, CEO Sky.Garden, “We are thrilled to be receiving the continued support and recognition for our platform from such influential investors, especially in the highly competitive market that we are in. The positive impact we have had on small and medium sized businesses across the region encourages us to continue to build the very best eCommerce platform our market has seen.”
Founded in May 2017 by Christian Grubak & Martin Majlund based in Denmark, Sky.Garden is locally run by Isaac Hunja, James Mwai and Daniel Maison who are Sky.Garden’s CMO, CTO and CEO respectively.
The firm has registered over 3000 unique sellers who now have access to their very own Sky.Garden Web Shops. The 3000+ unique web shop owners, with 23,000+ unique products uploaded spans across over 30 different categories.
The Sky.Garden platform offers the ability to open a free web shop in minutes and has attracted large and small businesses in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nyeri and many more counties across the country.
There are no registration fees or monthly fees, sellers are simply charged a flat rate of 8% per transaction. Every seller is equipped with a unique web shop link [URL] which they can share to their customer base on existing social media channels such as Whatsapp, Facebook or Twitter. When the seller gets an order through their web shop, Sky.Garden handles the end-to-end fulfillment on the seller’s behalf. Namely, customer service, delivery, and mobile money payments.
The company does same day delivery within Nairobi via their trusted and trained courier partnerships, and 24 to 48 hour delivery for the rest of Kenya via regional delivery partnerships.
Martin Majlund, Co-founder & COO says, “we saw a huge opportunity in Kenya with its rapidly growing smartphone penetration and access to reliable data connectivity. Every one of these sellers have a smartphone in their pockets, huge followings on social media platforms, and amazing products to sell. Sky.Garden is simply putting all these pieces together to produce an amazing eCommerce tool for them to grow their businesses and increase their earnings.”
After the launch of its next generation merchant platform, the firm aims to bring disruptive eCommerce management to their rapidly growing merchant base.
“”An important reason for us investing early in Sky.Garden was their strong team with complimentary experience from large retail, venture building, tech and their local markets. Further, their large market potential of African e-commerce and how they are tackling this using a novel way of distributed transporters and reaching small-medium businesses, creating important social and economic impact in the region in the process,” says Haakon Brunell, Managing Director at The Katapult Accelerator.