SABI is a startup company in its early stages that has grandiose plans to assist millions of merchants across Africa. The company thinks that its new office in Johannesburg will help to facilitate the digital transformation of South Africa’s R157 billion informal sector.
The startup positions itself as the preeminent supplier of commercial infrastructure for the delivery of products and services across Africa. It is sponsored by venture capital and has offices in Nigeria and Kenya. Shortly, it intends to expand to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Ivory Coast.
Anu Adasolum, CEO and co-founder of SABI, said in a press release that micro, small, and medium-sized traders in South Africa can now improve their cash flow with more reliable supply chains. And improved client marketing through using SABI as “Africa’s top B2B platform for the distribution of goods and services.”
SABI has partnered with Vumele to facilitate and enhance South Africa’s informal economy. This number comprises more than 200 000 spaza stores and spazarettes, 100 000 Kasi Kos vendors and pubs, and 500 000 street hawkers and tabletop traders — the majority of which are small companies.
Around 30 percent of the country’s population is employed by these industries, which have a value of over R157 billion and provide essentials such as food and clothing.
South Africa is an important market in the $800 billion informal commerce sector that exists in Sub-Saharan Africa. It consists of over 56 million micro, small, and medium-sized companies, most of which operate offline and have little to no contact with the formalized digital economy — a problem.
By utilizing its digital platform, Bumble gives informal traders access to logistics, supplies, payment processing, business tools, and financial services.
“SABI has enabled me to increase my sales, and my customers keep coming back to me because they are certain that I will always provide them with what they are looking for,” says Dami Gbadamosi, the owner of an informal business.
SABI was started in Nigeria in 2021, and as of July 2022, it was the largest commercial services platform for Africa’s informal economy, with an annualized gross merchandise value of $500 million.
Through the SABI app, 200,000 traders and 10,000 agents, most of whom have low incomes or don’t have access to traditional business or financial services, are already using the platform.
Adasolum says, “SABI’s technology creates a cost-effective bridge that helps informal traders find the right suppliers. This increases the net benefits for everyone in the value chain.”
We are thrilled to be working with Vumele to become the ecosystem for South Africa’s informal economy, composed of small sellers, buyers, and agents. Over 70% of the population of Africa relies on this hard-working group, which is often disregarded, for jobs, food, and other necessities of life. However, this group is responsible for providing these things.