Sky. Garden, a Kenyan e-commerce startup, has closed a US$4 million round of Series A funding to accelerate its growth.
This platform, launched some four years ago, enables informal dealers, small businesses and established companies to sell their products online. Its technology has been designed to cater to African sellers’ needs and feeds into an extensive logistics network of informal and structured shipping across Africa.
Sky. Garden raised a US$1.2 million seed funding round in 2018.
A further US$4 million in capital via a Series A round features SANAD Fund for MSME, Aavishkaar, UNCOVERED FUND and KSK Angel Fund founded by Japanese former AC Milan footballer Keisuke Honda.
The seed capital will be used to accelerate the startup’s growth.
e-commerce growth driven by Sky. Garden
Since the launch of Sky. Garden some four years ago, thousands of stores in Kenya have opened webshops through it, allowing a retailer to sell products to a customer on the other side without any tech background.
Purchased items are delivered within 24 hours, and the money paid into the vendor’s account when the customer accepts the item.
According to Martin Majlund, CEO of Sky. Garden, this commerce platform, provides African sellers with the best technology to access and reap the benefits of online commerce.
This investment round will allow Sky. Garden to drive impact at scale.
SANAD board chairperson Dr Daniela Beckmann said SANAD had long promoted the power of technology for financial inclusion and business growth.
She added that the COVID-19 pandemic had underscored the importance of digital solutions in ensuring flexible, sustainable operations for entrepreneurs.
With an investment into Sky. Garden, SANAD hopes to trigger technology transfer for the benefit of entrepreneurs in the region.
Ashish Patel, a partner at Aavishkaar Capital, said COVID-19 had accelerated the need for the large but highly fragmented and unorganised retail industry in Africa to access the digital economy.
“Sky.Garden is at the forefront at offering these businesses, transformative tools to fully capitalise on the uniquely African e-commerce opportunity, emerging as one of the leading e-commerce enabling platforms on the continent,” said Patel.