Kenyan based eCommerce company, Sky.Garden, has raised $1.2 million in their opening round led by Jesper Drescher, TRK Group based in Norway, The Katapult Accelerator Follow-up Fund, and a syndicate of Danish Business Angels led by Futuristic.vc.
The eCommerce business which was launched 9 months ago by a team of 10 Kenyans lead by CEO, Daniel Maison, has registered over 3000 unique sellers who now have access to their very own Sky.Garden Web Shops.
Speaking on the funding, Mason said, “we are thrilled to be receiving the continued support and recognition for our platform from such influential investors, especially in the highly competitive market that we are in. The positive impact we have had on small and medium sized businesses across the region encourages us to continue to build the very best eCommerce platform our market has seen.”
The founders Christian Grubak and Martin Majlund based in Denmark, met Isaac Hunja, James Mwai and Daniel Maison based in Nairobi through mutual interests. Having previously worked on various bigger eCommerce projects, they all had a strong need to place the benefits of eCommerce in the hands of the masses.
Daniel, James and Isaac, now act as the CEO, CTO and CMO respectively and lead a young vibrant team looking to take on the eCommerce market in Kenya, and soon East Africa.
The 3000+ unique web shop owners, with 23,000+ unique products uploaded spans across over 30 different categories. The Sky.Garden platform offers the ability to open a free web shop in minutes and has attracted large and small businesses in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nyeri and many more counties across the country.
James Mwai, who is currently one of the few Google Developer Experts in Africa, has lead the tech development as the Chief Technology Officer. Sky.Garden’s web shop owners operate their inventory autonomously using the Sky.Garden Merchant App downloadable from the Android Playstore.
While customers can purchase products from their website www.sky.garden. “We look very closely to user behavior when developing features for the Sky.Garden platform,” James explains, “we’ve developed an easy-to-use but robust merchant app and customer environment to ensure efficient inventory management and successful end-to-end transactions.”
There are no registration fees or monthly fees, sellers are simply charged a flat rate of 8% per transaction. Every seller is equipped with a unique web shop link [URL] which they can share to their customer base on existing social media channels such as Whatsapp, Facebook or Twitter.
When the seller gets an order through their web shop, Sky.Garden handles the end-to-end fulfillment on the seller’s behalf. Namely, customer service, delivery, and mobile money payments.
The company does same day delivery within Nairobi via their trusted and trained courier partnerships, and 24 to 48 hour delivery for the rest of Kenya via regional delivery partnerships. “Our country-wide partnerships allows us to deliver as far as Mandera, Turkana and more within a day or two,” says Esau Okumu, Head of Customer Service.
Their next stage of development will see the company launch its next generation merchant platform later this year, to bring disruptive eCommerce management to their rapidly growing merchant base.
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