E-commerce startup, JABU has raised a $3.2 million financing round, with the Namibian business-to-business company having a seed round which had investors like Afore Capital, Y Combinator, FJ Labs, Quiet Capital, Kli Capital, Pareto Capital and unnamed angels contributing to the funding which was closed last year.
The distribution e-commerce company based in Namibia made this known to TechCrunch is also gearing for a Series A fundraising this quarter to establish its place on the African continent.
The company founded in 2020 by its CEO, David Akinin joins a list of startups across Africathat help small retailers order and stock their products and, at the same time, provide data-driven services to suppliers and manufacturers.
The platform currently connects over 6,000 retailers to local and multinational suppliers like Namibia Breweries Limited, ABInBev, Bokomo, Coca-Cola, Namibmills, while it digitizes orders, payments and logistics.
The Namibian country is heavily reliant on cash, and the startup has decided to use its supply chain to digitize its physical cash collection processes via wallets, with the JABU’s wallets allowing merchants to deposit and withdraw money immediately in sync with these centres as against the old mundane processes of having to wait for 48 hours for money from retailers to settle into banks.
CEO Akinin while explaining further why the company was creating wallets for its merchants said:
“Our volumes growth grew so much and we’ve picked up so much money in physical currency, the banks and others have sat down and said, ‘How can we fix this?’ I mean, we went from having a couple R100,000 (rands) a week to having millions of Namibian dollars. And we realized there’s something better and bigger than we originally tapped into”.
According to Akinin, the next stage of JABU’s wallet system would enable merchants offer other services to consumers on top of their digitized cash.
“The only way to do that is by partnering with the merchants, and they go through a [know your customer] process, we make sure the merchants have the right space and the right account to back their float. And then they transact with their customers. So we’re entering the B2B2C space through the merchants that we work with,” he said.
With the company’s major revenue comes from distribution across third-party fleets, while merchandising and targeted marketing also coming with a share of the revenue, JABU hopes to take commissions from transactions performed on merchants’ wallets in the future.