Sabi, a Lagos-based B2B e-commerce startup providing digital commerce infrastructure to Africa’s informal economy, has raised $38 million in Series B funding at a valuation of $300 million.
The funding was led by 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.
According to the company,its growth model and its approach of “focusing on the fundamentals and ensuring sound unit economics and profitability before pursuing expansion” differentiates it from other startups in the sector and has allowed it to maintain a sustainable trajectory, even in challenging market conditions.
“Sabi’s ecosystem-based approach, where we treat manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers as merchants, is designed to be highly adaptive and responsive to market dynamics. By creating value for various stakeholders and adjusting our approach based on new learnings, we can maintain long-term sustainability even amidst short-term explosive growth. This flexibility is crucial in the markets we operate in, where stakeholder roles can be fluid,” CEO Anu Adasolum Adasolum commented about the long-term sustainability of the startup’s model.
Sabi’s primary revenue sources remain consistent. The company captures a 5-6% take rate on marketplace transactions and earns a financing margin on credit-related transactions that it facilitates. Notably, Sabi has already facilitated over $100 million on behalf of local microfinance banks and fintech lenders, which has attracted the interest of fintech-focused investor CommerzVentures.
According to sources, Sabi is recording 15,000 monthly orders and experiencing over 20% month-on-month growth. That’s one-tenth of Wasoko’s monthly orders from last March; however, a higher GMV could mean that Sabi records higher average order values mostly from wholesalers, not retailers. This is why the startup, having raised more than $60 million including a previously unreported $15 million Series A last year ,is launching new products and features to target its agents and last-mile merchants. Sabi might consider these additions as a means to accommodate extra revenue models and focus more on the B2B payments value chain.
The category-agnostic upstart, whose merchants deal with FMCG goods as well as products in agriculture, electronics and chemicals, is also eyeing expansion into other markets, including Tanzania and Malawi ,the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Francophone West Africa, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans.