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Nigeria: Sendbox adds $1.8 million to capital base

Nigeria’s Sendbox, closes $1.8m seed funding to scale its logistics-for-social-commerce operations

Africa's tech space is getting a lot of attention lately, courtesy of the number of foreign investments. A possible explanation is the projected market size of Africa's tech space. For instance, Africa's e-commerce market is expected to hit $75 billion by 2025.

Sendbox, an e-commerce platform, is tapping into this trend after securing $1.8 million in funding. This takes the total investment in the startup to a little above $2 million, thanks to the latest investment and the pre-seed raised from Microtraction and 4DX Ventures three years ago

4DX Ventures, Enza Capital, FJLabs, and Golden Palm Investments invested in the round while Flexport and Y Combinator participated.

Speaking on the latest funding round, Walter Baddoo, the co-founder and general partner at 4DX Ventures, said, "African e-commerce is accelerating faster than anybody could have imagined a decade ago, and it needs smart solutions to ensure that logistics and fulfillment capacity doesn't lag behind,"

"Not only were we impressed by Sendbox's 300% year-on-year growth since launch, but we're seeing the market potential balloon with over 40 million Nigerian SMEs and a projected industry value for social and e-commerce reaching $45 billion on the continent by 2025," he added.

Sendbox has a story similar to Abraham Ojes's Collect Africa.

Emotu Balogun is the brain behind Sendbox. The two-time founder launched Sendbox in 2018 to help scale delivery.

The idea came when he faced a similar problem in his previous startup Traclist. Now inoperative, Traclist was a fashion marketplace in Nigeria that helped small merchants sell their products online. However, delivery was a problem for the startup despite having some logistics firms 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...And if it existed, it would have given us the ability to decentralize the operations of our marketplace and scale it up.” Emotu Balogun on Traclist

Sendbox's number has been very impressive. Three years after its launch, the startup claims to have reached over 10,000 merchants and made more than 200,000 deliveries, of which 35%-40% are international.

According to TechCrunch, Sendbox makes local deliveries within Nigeria and international deliveries to over 200 countries. Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Ibadan are the most favored destinations for local deliveries, while Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. hold top spots for the latter.

“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." Balogun.

Sendbox will look to improve its impressive growth rate of 300 percent with the new funding as it plans to expand its product capabilities and geographical presence.

Nigeria in focus

GDP: $432.294 billion in 2020 compared to $448.12 billion in 2019

Population: 206,139,587 in 2020 compared to 200,963,03 in 2019

GDP per capita: $2,097 in 2020 compared to $2,229 in 2019