A Nigerian digital bookkeeping platform for traders, Pastel, on Monday disclosed that it had raised $5.5 million seed round for new product offerings and tools for small businesses.
The round, which was led by pan-African venture capital firm TLcom Capital, included other VC companies such as Global Founders Capital (GFC), Golden Palm Investments, DFS Labs, Ulu Ventures, Plug and Play, and Soma Cap.
Pastel’s management said that the new funding would be deployed to expand Pastel’s product offerings and develop more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans and payments for small businesses.
Speaking on the latest funding round, Pastel co-founder, Izunna Okonkwo, said that as a team, the company was adopting a product-led growth approach after doing massive amounts of research into how users are using the solutions and what they are asking for.
Okonkwo said: “The new capital will assist us in increasing our efforts in this area as we look to expand our product offerings and develop more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans and payments for small businesses.
“Our thought process was as soon as we got traction, the next step was to capture some value. So we added features to the Sabi app and what we’re building now is a little bit more.
“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 sign up with any of our apps with the same login and access all of the other solutions that we’re providing”, he added.
Formerly known as Sabi Cash, Pastel was founded and launched in September 2021 by Abuzar Royesh, Olamide Oladeji and Izunna Okonkwo, all graduates of Stanford University, who shared similar interests in building digital tools to address the pain points of small businesses across Africa starting from Nigeria.
Since its launch, the digital bookkeeping company has built multiple mobile-based apps to help over 120 thousand small businesses manage their bookkeeping, generate invoices and provide receipts.
In addition, the management said the company raised a $620,000 pre-seed last year from some of its existing investors.