NIGERIA – Sabi, a B2B marketplace serving the informal sector, has received US$6 million bridge round led by CRE Venture Capital to support its continued fast-paced growth in Nigeria and beyond.

The financing round will help fuel the company’s rapid growth as it eyes new markets including South Africa, which is also home to a multi-billion-dollar informal sector.

This follows Sabi’s seed round closed in mid-2020 which also attracted leading international investors including Janngo Capital, Atlantica Ventures, and Waarde Capital.

“We are excited to have closed this bridge round as Sabi continues to grow at an incredible pace. Our merchant users are taking advantage of every part of our platform, and the quality of the B2B partners we have brought onto the market is clear from the ever-increasing transaction volume,” Anu Adasolum, CEO of Sabi, commented.

Sabi is platforming Nigeria’s US$244 billion informal trade sector by providing the digital infrastructure to help SMEs grow their businesses.

Over 175,000 merchants use Sabi’s category agnostic platform to manage their businesses and make B2B transactions. Merchants are transacting at over a US$100 million GMV annualized rate on Sabi’s platform.

“CRE Venture Capital is proud to support Sabi’s continued growth across Nigeria and expansion into Kenya and South Africa.

“Sabi’s online/offline approach to serving informal businesses, combined with the quality of its platform and service provider curation, has clearly taken root in Nigeria.

“The company is on track to be one of the fastest-growing African companies of 2021 and is showing no signs of slowing down,” Pardon Makumbe, Co-founder & Managing Partner of CRE Venture Capital, said.

The company has been operational in Nigeria for just over a year and recently became operational in Kenya.

“Now that Sabi is operational all across Nigeria, we look forward to bringing our solution into new markets with similar informal sector challenges, starting with Kenya and then South Africa.

“Sabi’s team, platform, and investors are ready to continue scaling Sabi into Africa’s leading B2B marketplace,” Ademola Adesina, co-founder of Sabi, said.

Sabi’s network of over 10,000 agents now interacts with merchants across all 36 Nigerian states, delivering the online and offline support needed to properly service the over 41 million micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria alone that can benefit from the Sabi platform.

A 2016 study by global consultancy PwC states that an estimated 90% of sales in Africa’s major economies come through informal channels like markets and kiosks.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 90% of these household retail transactions are carried out via a network of about 100 million MSMEs.

B2B Players such as Sabi in Nigeria, Marketforce in Kenya, Fatura in Egypt, among others are streamlining operations in the informal sector making them to be more profitable.

Recently, Vendease, a Nigeria based online marketplace that allows restaurants and other food businesses to buy supplies straight from manufacturers and farms, raised a seed round of US$3.2 million.

Vendease, founded in January 2020, tries to solve the challenges and inefficiencies in Africa’s highly fragmented food sector.

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