JABU, a Namibian startup with backing from the venture capital firm YC, has obtained a $3.2 million investment for its B2B e-commerce and retail operation.
The seed round was led by Afore Capital, with participation from Y Combinator, FJ Labs, Quiet Capital, Kli Capital, Pareto Capital, and unnamed angel investors.
CEO David Akinin founded JABU in mid-2020 to improve Namibia’s poor and practically non-existent distribution network and supply chain.
JABU, as a last-mile distribution e-commerce startup, joins a growing number of African enterprises that assist small merchants with purchasing and stocking their products while also providing data-driven services to distributors and manufacturers.
Its technology automates the ordering, payment, and delivery processes for over 6,000 retailers, including Namibia Breweries Limited, ABInBev, Bokomo, Coca-Cola, and Namibmills.
An enormous portion of Namibia’s GDP is dependant on foreign currency. As a result of owning its supply chain, JABU is also seeking to digitize its physical cash collection methods using wallets.
When money is received from retailers at JABU distribution centers, they are typically deposited into banks within 48 hours.
JABU’s wallets will enable businesses to rapidly deposit and withdraw funds in sync with these centers, obviating the necessity for this time-consuming process.
In the next phase of JABU’s wallet platform, businesses will be able to offer users more services in addition to digitizing currency, according to Akinin.
JABU earns the majority of its revenue from self-distribution or third-party fleets. Merchandising, together with marketing and advertising, contributes to the firm’s profitability. In the future, it will earn from merchant wallet transactions.
The seed fund and subsequent expansion round will be used to expand into Botswana and South Africa, strengthen the company’s technology and operations teams, and train the company’s current field agents.
According to Akinin, JABU, which employs more than 200 people, is planning a Series A fundraising round this quarter.