YC backed Namibian startup, JABU gets $3.2 M in seed funding round

YC backed Namibian startup, JABU gets $3.2 M in seed funding round

JABU, a Namibia-based B2B e-commerce startup has announced the raise of a $3.2 million seed round.

The seed funding, which closed last year received investors such as Afore Capital, Y Combinator, FJ Labs, Kli Capital, Quiet Capital, Pareto Capital, and other anonymous seed investors.

JABU joined the Y Combinator summer program in 2021 becoming the first Namibian startup to do so.

Two African startups, BeU delivery, and IdenityPass have already been confirmed for the YC Winter22 Accelerator program.

Founded in 2020 by David Akinin, JABU is a data-driven, technology-enabled, last-mile B2B distribution that connects FMCG brands to over 6,000 retailers locally and internationally through an effective delivery system with an affordable range of products.

Headquartered in Windhoek, Namibia, JABI also offers inventory management and credit facilities for unbanked businesses. JABU has worked with brands such as Coca-cola, Bokomo, Namibmills, Topscore, and Luckystar.

On how the startup idea came about, Akinin explained that during the pandemic, his construction company embarked on a COVID relief program to donate food supplies in Namibia. It was then he stumbled on the country’s B2B e-commerce retail opportunity.

Akinin has worked with Google and CreditSuisse. He also works with OperFin Technologies, a platform that provides fast and reliable digital mortgage experience in the sub-Saharan region.

With technology, JABU can increase the efficiency of a trope of delivery trucks and warehouses by mapping and digitizing thousands of retail outlets that sell the products through structured sales processes involving various channels.

On the platform, brands or suppliers can monitor real-time data and key performance indicators; analyze sales, follow trends, and compare products and services against the present market standards. Suppliers are also able to make online and offline advertising campaigns for better market positioning as well as follow in real-time, how the sales patterns of their products are changing.

JABU’s monthly GMV has grown 25x and the average growth of delivered SKUs stands at nearly 53% monthly since March. The company said that revenue has also seen a 35x growth within the same time frame.

Like most African countries, Namibia relies heavily on cash. And JABU — profiting from owning its supply chain — is making efforts to digitize its physical cash collection processes via wallets.

Akinin revealed that the next stage of JABU’s wallet system would see merchants offering other services to consumers on top of their digitized cash.

JABU’s revenue largely comes from distribution it carries out itself or via third-party fleets. Merchandising and targeted marketing and advertising also bring in the bucks for the company. It will take commissions from transactions performed on merchants’ wallets in the future.

Other B2B e-commerce startups that have raised funds include Nigerian startups Sabi and Omnibiz, and Kenyan-based Sokowatch.