JABU, a last-mile distribution e-commerce firm based in Namibia, has raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Tiger Global.
Tiger Global’s second investment in the B2B e-commerce industry comes after backing Wasoko in its mammoth Series B round, which was completed in March.
It’s also worth mentioning that this transaction took place before Tiger Global’s $17 billion loss during this year’s tech sell-off.
Box Group, Knollwood, and D Global Ventures are among the other investors in this growth round. Afore Capital, Oldslip, and FJ Labs were among the seed round funders who doubled down.
Businesses can use Jwallet to order, stock, and pay for their goods, and anticipate quick delivery on the same day, according to the YC-backed startup.
In January, the startup’s platform was used by over 6,000 merchants in Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia. According to CEO David Akinin, that number has risen by 50%.
Through dashboards, the firm offers data-driven services to FMCG brands and banks, such as sales analytics and agent productivity.
According to Akinin, you can use JABU to let your customers withdraw and deposit money into their wallets and bank accounts.
The business is integrating an API with banks into the interchange, allowing someone who got money through their wallet to walk up to a JABU retailer and withdraw money using their physical float.
Jwallet also has other components that operate. Drivers who conduct distribution for the business’s 232 logistics partners and pay with the wallet can get asset financing and, for merchants, equity financing, according to the startup.
More specifically, Akinin believes the wallet system can give a long-term alternative to the renowned BNPL model that other platforms supply to retailers.
His prejudice stems from a previous attempt by JABU to use the BNPL model, which resulted in defaults. Akinin described how merchants would leverage a platform’s BNPL service to create income, then use that profit to pay for the next invoice or buy merchandise from a new supplier in a different supply chain.
Jwallet gets around this by collaborating with banks to process digital payments and developing communities on the platform for merchants to save and extend credit lines to one another.
This technique also aids merchants in accumulating transaction histories while generating sufficient money from offering financial services to end customers to pay back their loans.
Much of what the Jabu wallet team is doing revolves around the community and the shop rather than the company’s finance sheet.
The team is thrilled about it as a product because we’re attempting to show that there’s a better way to interact with stores as we grow. Akinin stated
JABU will use the Series A financing to extend its position in Southern Africa and enter new markets such as Botswana and Eswatini later this year.
What sets Akinin’s company apart from the competition, he claims, is that it is building a much bigger ecosystem for startups rather than just a marketplace.
In Africa, there is a lot of hope that B2B e-commerce would help to speed economic expansion, provide possibilities for small and large businesses, and foster more market integration. B2B refers to business-to-business transactions, such as those between a manufacturer and a wholesaler or a wholesaler and a retailer.
Significant advancements in African e-commerce have bolstered the case for B2B as the means to achieving the continent’s e-commerce possibilities.
Businesses that use this model are growing and prospering, and some B2C companies are shifting their focus to B2B.
While much has been done to simplify business operations, store owners and kiosk operators continue to face challenges in obtaining financing and receiving goods from suppliers and distributors on a regular and timely basis.
Apps and more effective distribution channels have made this process faster for these startups, The platforms include JABU and others like Wasoko, TradeDepot, Omnibiz, MarketForce, MaxAB, Chari, and many more.
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