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Nigeria: Sabi's bridge round sees the startup pocket $6 million

Nigerian B2B platform, Sabi raises $6m in bridge round to drive African expansion

Sabi, a startup that came into Nigeria's digital space in 2020 has closed a $6 million bridge round, a year after closing a $2 million seed round from CRE Venture Capital, Janngo Capital, Atlantica Ventures and Waarde Capital.

The current round was led by CRE Venture Capital. This is the second time the VC is investing in the startup in less than a year. Pardon Makumbe, co-founder and managing partner of CRE Venture Capital, explains the rationale behind his company's decision to do so.

According to him, “Sabi’s online and 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.”

Sabi is a spinoff from Rensource, an African energy company that offers power-as-a-service to customers.

Founded in 2020 by Ademola Adesina and Anu Adasolum, the startup has been described as an attempt at platforming the informal sector and African trade via various online and offline channels. CEO Adasolum explains this better.

“We focus our processes, policies and monitoring around understanding the different types of users and monitoring how the third parties we work with are serving them,” said CEO Adasolum.

“As a result, the net experience of each off-taker is different and it works more for their particular business type. So I’m not going to go to a business that is used to working a particular way and change it but instead offer several other channels that they’re more comfortable with through our platform.”

Sabi's number is quite impressive given it's Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and its life span. According to the company it is on the verge of processing about $12 million monthly GMV. A feat that took Africa's largest ecommerce platform - Jumia, five years to achieve.

The startup boasts more than 175,000 merchants who have made B2B transactions totalling over $200 million annualized GMV run rate. And more than 10,000 agents serve these merchants on Sabi’s network. Sabi recently launched in Kenya, and made a few hires in South Africa with plans of launching next year.

Nigeria in focus

GDP: $432.294 billion in 2020 compared to $448.12 billion in 2019

Population: 206,139,587 in 2020 compared to 200,963,03 in 2019

GDP per capita: $2,097 in 2020 compared to $2,229 in 2019