Luxembourg and Nairobi, June 15, 2021 – The SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD) has invested USD 2 million into digital innovator Sky.Garden, a successful tech startup offering an online marketplace to micro, small, and medium enterprises across Kenya. SANAD’s Equity Sub-Fund II has led the closing of a larger Series A investment round for the company joined by Aavishkaar, the Uncovered Fund, and other angel investors. Sky.Garden currently serves more than 15,000 sellers and is poised to expand to new geographies.
Sky.Garden caters especially to smaller sellers and at-home entrepreneurs, an important economic sector that is otherwise underserved by larger e-commerce platforms dominated by major retailers. The online marketplace enables businesses to expand their outreach beyond physical premises and connect to customers across Kenya – providing opportunities not only to increase sales, but also to remain flexible in an uncertain environment such as the coronavirus pandemic. Sky.Garden’s proprietary tech enables business owners to customize their own web storefront and engage in online inventory management, payments, and logistics without extensive training. Supported by the SANAD investment, Sky.Garden now aims to expand its services beyond Kenya into neighboring countries, with its sights set on the MENA region, notably Egypt.
SANAD Board Chairperson Dr. Daniela Beckmann said, “SANAD has long promoted the power of technology for financial inclusion and business growth, and the pandemic has underscored the importance of digital solutions in ensuring flexible, sustainable operations for entrepreneurs. We are very pleased to be joining forces with Sky.Garden, an impactful company expanding access to the benefits of e-commerce to the locally owned businesses that drive the engine of the economy and are at the core of SANAD’s mission. With an investment into Sky.Garden, we will also enable technology transfer for the benefit of entrepreneurs in the MENA region.”
Sky.Garden CEO Martin Majlund said, “Sky.Garden’s sole focus is to provide African sellers with best-in-class technology to sell their products online. This investment round will allow Sky.Garden to accelerate doing what we do best. I’m looking forward to an exciting new chapter with these great partners pioneering e-commerce with the African entrepreneur in mind.”
The SANAD Fund for MSME finances micro, small, and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa and selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners. The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility multiplies the fund’s development impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required R&D.
An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the European Union; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; the Dutch development bank FMO; and Calvert Impact Capital.
Sky.Garden is a SaaS eCommerce platform that allows MSMEs to sell to customers on digital channels with ease. Sky.Garden removes the complexity in the fragmented digital advertising landscape and lets business owners focus on customers rather than technology. No cost upon entry. Fully automated local payment and shipping options are integrated out-of-the-box. Safe and secure.
For more information, please visit: www.sky.garden
Media contact – SANAD
Senior Officer, Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 271 035-470
Media contact – Sky.Garden
Phone: +254 757751167
Phone: +254 722552525