Pastel (previously Sabi Cash), a Nigerian business management solution provider, has secured $5.5M funding in a Seed round led by TLcom. Other investors participated, including GFC, Golden palm, DFS labs, Ulu Ventures, Plug and Play, and Soma Cap.
The new funding will enable Pastel to expand its product offerings. The company is working on developing more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans, and payments that will help SMEs scale as well as ease their day-to-day activities.
“Our thought process was to get traction quickly by solving a merchant’s pain point with a free and easy solution. The next step was to capture value. So we added value capture features to the Sabi app that our customers love. Now we are building a lot more,” Okonkwo said about the company’s decision to build three standalone platforms instead of coupling them all into one app. “The way we’ve thought about it is, as opposed to creating a super app that many other fintechs have or are in pursuit of, we are taking a more platform approach, meaning that any Pastel user can create an account with any of our apps. With the same login they can access all the other solutions we’re providing.”
Helping small businesses
Abuzar, Olamide, and Izunna, Stanford graduate students, founded Pastel to solve pain points for African businesses in their day-to-day activities.
The company is on a mission to support African small businesses with tools to help manage their businesses and maximise efficiency.
The company’s flagship product Sabi is a digital bookkeeping app, which allows small businesses to monitor and manage their customers and transactions, get insights into their cashflows, issue receipts (Quick Receipt), and effectively manage customers who owe them.
“We are building tools that allow businesses to increase sales and customer engagement, access business financing and introduce themselves to the digital economy,” says the company.
As per the company’s claims, the Sabi app for bookkeeping and customer relationship management has 45k+ active users, and Quick Receipt, a simple invoicing and receipts app, has 60k+ active users.
“As a team, we are taking a product-led growth approach where we iterate after doing massive amounts of research into how users use the solutions and what they are asking for,” says the company.