Pastel raises US$5.5million to support SMEs in Africa go digital


Pastel, a startup helping small Nigerian businesses move online, digitise their bookkeeping, and access financial support has raised $5.5 million to scale its operations and build better products across Africa. 

In Nigeria, 80% of the 40 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) fail to last beyond 5 years. Experts have attributed it to a lack of digitisation and sub-optimal business practices, and those are challenges Pastel is helping MSMEs overcome.

Pastel builds apps. They have built a suite of apps that serve different purposes for MSMEs.

The first is Sabi, a bookkeeping app that allows small businesses to closely monitor transactions, manage customers, evaluate cash flow and handle debt.

Quick Receipt, their second product, is a simple invoicing and receipt tool. They also have the Swift Money app in the company’s pipeline. When launched, the app will focus on digitising the Ajo system, a popular thrift savings scheme in Nigeria.

Pastel is playing in one of Nigeria’s most important markets, but a major pushback may come from the same people they are trying to help.

Digitisation in traditional retail settings is not commonplace in Nigeria, and Pastel must paint the picture of urgency if it wants to increase adoption amongst its target audience.


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