Pastel, a Nigerian merchant platform and bookkeeping startup formerly known as Sabi Cash, has raised $5.5 million in a seed financing round in addition to the $620,000 in pre-seed funding it raised in 2021.
The company will use the capital “to expand its product offerings and develop more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans and payments for small businesses,” TechCrunch reported Monday (Aug. 15).
Sabi Cash — now Pastel — was created by three Stanford University graduates, Izunna Okonkwo, Abuzar Royesh and Olamide Oladeji. They shared an interest in building products for small- to medium-sized business (SMBs) and micro businesses in emerging markets, according to the report. The founders said they are especially interested in building a business in their countries of origin, which include Afghanistan and Nigeria.
The company’s main product is Sabi, a digital bookkeeping app designed for SMBs, the report stated. Users can monitor and manage their transactions and customers, see cash flow insights, send receipts and manage customers who owe them.
Pastel doesn’t bundle its features into one app. Its other products, Quick Receipt and Pastel Financing, stand alone, according to the report.
“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 create an account with any of our apps,” Okonkwo said in the report. “With the same login they can access all the other solutions that we’re providing.”
TLcom Capital led the latest funding round, which also saw participation from Global Founders Capital (GFC), Golden Palm Investments, DFS Labs, Ulu Ventures, Plug and Play and Soma Cap, the report stated.
In July, the Nigeria Startup Bill (NSB) passed through the country’s House of Representatives, a week after the Senate voted in favor of it. The bill is now awaiting approval of the presidency, which created it in collaboration with leaders from the country’s technology sector, to be signed into law.
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