Nigeria’s Sendbox raises $1.8M to provide e-commerce fulfilment for small merchants

Nigeria’s Sendbox raises $1.8M to provide e-commerce fulfilment for small merchants

Sendbox presents merchants with a more reliable platform and has raised $1.8 million seed to help them with their e-commerce fulfilment.

4DX Ventures, Enza Capital, FJLabs, and Golden Palm Investments invested in the round while Flexport and Y Combinator participated (Sendbox was part of YC’s 2021 winter batch). In addition to the pre-seed raised from Microtraction and 4DX Ventures three years ago, Sendbox’s total investment is a little over $2 million.

The journey of Sendbox started nine years ago when founder and CEO Emotu Balogun was running his previous startup Traclist. The now-defunct company was a fashion marketplace in Nigeria that helped small merchants sell their products online. Before shutting down, Traclist ran into scaling issues as most of its merchants could not get their fulfilment done despite the presence of a few logistics companies in the country.

“There wasn’t a solution that allowed us to quickly just aggregate service providers onto a platform and integrate them into our marketplace, said Balogun to TechCrunch over a call. “And if it existed, it would have given us the ability to decentralize the operations of our marketplace and scale it up.”

Sendbox is available to users via iOS, Android, web, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, other e-commerce platforms and developer APIs. The three-year-old company has reached over 10,000 merchants through these channels and claims to have made more than 200,000 deliveries since inception, of which 35%-40% are international.

CEO Balogun tells TechCrunch that Sendbox’s revenue and transactions have grown 300% year over year in the last three years. And to continue that exponential growth, Sendbox will expand its product capabilities and geographical presence as well.

“For us, our vision really is to become the e-commerce operating system for African merchants and logistics is the first entry point for the company,” said Balogun.

The next entry is financing and payments — an identical play to what other platforms such as Klasha operate by combining three worlds of e-commerce, logistics, and payments.

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