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Pastel, a Nigerian Bookkeeping Startup Enabling SMEs, Raises $5.5 Million Seed Fund

The new funding will enable its product-led growth approach to gain the attention of more customers, push forward the expansion of its product offerings, development of more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans and payments for small businesses

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Abuzar Royesh, Olamide Oladeji and Izunna Okonkwo, Co-founders at Pastel
Abuzar Royesh, Olamide Oladeji and Izunna Okonkwo, Co-founders at Pastel

Focused on helping businesses gain efficient financial accountability and adequate bookkeeping, Nigeria’s Pastel has raised $5.5 million in seed funding.

Pastel, which was initially known as Sabi Cash, was founded by Abuzar Royesh, Olamide Oladeji and Izunna Okonkwo. The new funding will enable its product-led growth approach to gain the attention of more customers, push forward the expansion of its product offerings, development of more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans and payments for small businesses.

The seed round was led by pan-African venture capital firm TLcom Capital and included VC firms such as Global Founders Capital (GFC), Golden Palm Investments, DFS Labs, Ulu Ventures, Plug and Play, and Soma Cap. 

Pastel has a goal to build digital tools to unlock the potential of small businesses in developing countries. The company seeks to be a global leader in the micro, small, and medium businesses space, building tools that allow businesses to increase sales, process payments, access financial solutions and immerse themselves in the digital economy.

Sabi Cash, the company’s flagship product, different from B2B e-commerce marketplace with the same name Sabi, is a digital bookkeeping app where small businesses can monitor and manage their transactions and customers, get insights into their cashflows, issue receipts, and effectively manage customers who owe them.

The bookkeeping and customer relationship management Pastel launched last year recorded over 100,000 merchant sign-ups by December 2021, said Okonkwo. The free app currently has more than 45,000 active merchant users. 

Pastel has recently added more features for merchants to capture more value in this chain. However, unlike other platforms that have bundled several features into one app, Pastel chose a different strategy and made each product standalone: Quick Receipt and Pastel Financing.

The Quick Receipt app provides businesses with simple invoicing and receipts tools and over 60,000 active merchant users. On the other hand, the Swift Money app, which leverages local saving groups called ajo in Nigeria to provide financing for businesses, has been stealthily built for the last three months through Pastel Financing.

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​Joan Aimuengheuwa is a content writer who takes keen interest in the scopes of innovation among African startups. She thrives at meeting targets and expectations. Contact: [email protected]

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