Home Startups Namibian B2B e-commerce startup JABU raises $3.2 million funding for expansion.

Namibian B2B e-commerce startup JABU raises $3.2 million funding for expansion.

by Weddy Thuranira
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JABU, a Namibian B2B e-commerce startup, has secured a $3.2 million funding round. Afore Capital, Y Combinator, FJ Labs, Quiet Capital, Kli Capital, Pareto Capital, and unknown angels participated in the seed round, which completed last year.

As a last-mile distribution e-commerce business, JABU joins a growing number of African startups that assist small retailers in ordering and stocking their items while also providing data-driven services to suppliers and manufacturers.

JABU was founded in mid-2020 by CEO David Akinin to improve Namibia’s inefficient and nearly non-existent supply chain and distribution.

Its platform connects over 6,000 retailers with local and multinational suppliers like Namibia Breweries Limited, ABInBev, Bokomo, Coca-Cola, and Namibmills, and also digitizes orders, payments, and logistics.

The Namibian startup has eight distribution sites and a fleet of cars. Suppliers can use dashboards to see where their products are being delivered, verify critical performance indicators, and schedule merchandising. They can also run advertising and marketing campaigns in shops, give away products, and profit from merchandising.

For the majority of last year, JABU functioned in stealth mode. It was the first time a Namibian firm was accepted into Y Combinator’s summer batch in 2021.

The Southern African region is highlighted by JABU. The company is currently active in three Namibian cities and has just expanded into two Zambian cities. Since March, its monthly GMV has increased by 25 times, and the average monthly growth of delivered SKUs has been about 53 percent. Revenue has increased 35 times in the same time period, according to the corporation.

Namibia, like most African countries, is heavily reliant on foreign currency. And, because it owns its supply chain, JABU is attempting to digitize its physical cash collection procedures using wallets.

When money from retailers arrives at JABU distribution centers, it usually takes 48 hours for it to be deposited into banks. JABU’s wallets will allow businesses to deposit and withdraw money instantly in sync with these centers, eliminating the need to go through this tedious process.

The majority of JABU’s revenue comes from self-distribution or third-party fleets. Merchandising, as well as targeted marketing and advertising, help the company make money. In the future, it will take commissions from transactions made through merchant wallets.

With over 200 workers, JABU is planning a Series A fundraising round this quarter.The seed round and subsequent growth round will be used to expand into Botswana and South Africa, build the tech and operations team, and train the startup’s field agents.

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