Pastel, a Nigerian digital bookkeeping and digital platform for merchants has raised $5.5 million seed round. The funding is to be deployed to expand its product offerings and develop more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans and payments for small businesses.
The seed raising was led by pan-African venture capital firm TLcom Capital. Other VC firms such as Global Founders Capital (GFC), Golden Palm Investments, DFS Labs, Ulu Ventures, Plug and Play, and Soma Cap also participated in the seed round.
The startup raised a $620,000 pre-seed last year from some of its existing investors.
Formerly Sabi Cash, Pastel was founded by Abuzar Royesh, Olamide Oladeji and Izunna Okonkwo, Stanford graduate students who shared similar interests in building solutions for micro and SMBs in emerging markets, particularly from their countries of origin: Afghanistan (Royesh) and Nigeria (Oladeji and Okonkwo).
The company’s flagship product, Sabi is a digital bookkeeping app that allows small businesses to monitor and manage their transactions and customers, get insights into their cashflows, issue receipts, and effectively manage customers who owe them.
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What they are saying
- Commenting on the fundraise, Patel co-founder, Okonkwo said: “As a team, we are taking a product-led growth approach where we iterate after doing massive amounts of research into how users are using the solutions and what they are asking for. The new capital will assist us in increasing our efforts in this area as we look to expand our product offerings and develop more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans and payments for small businesses.”
- On the company’s product, Okonkwo said: “Our thought process was as soon as we got traction, the next step was to capture some value. So we added features to the Sabi app and what we’re building now is a little bit more.”
- “The way we’ve thought about it is, as opposed to creating a super app that a lot of other fintechs have or are in pursuit of, we are taking a more platform approach, meaning that any Pastel user can sign up with any of our apps with the same login and access all of the other solutions that we’re providing,” he added.