Lipa Later has confirmed a Ksh. 250 million investment in the e-commerce platform, SkyGarden. The acquisition of SkyGarden by Lipa Later occurred last year, but the company did not disclose the investment amount at that time.
Fast forward 12 months, and the confirmation has finally arrived. With this substantial investment, SkyGarden aims to connect 100,000 merchants in the coming year. The new SkyGarden platform will offer payment solutions, logistic support, marketing tools, and business insights. Lipa Later envisions becoming Africa’s most expansive credit, payments, and shopping platform through this strategic investment.
Through the new platform, merchants will gain access to financing, real-time transaction monitoring, direct bill payments, seamless deposits and withdrawals, among other features. SkyGarden will also adopt Lipa Later’s business model, enabling customers to buy products and pay in installments over time. This move is likely to attract merchants, leading to increased sales and a broader customer base.
Lipa Later aims to transform SkyGarden into a mobile-first shopping platform catering to Micro-SMEs and Merchants. As it collaborates with these merchants, the intention is to encourage them to bank with Lipa Bank.
New Social Commerce Model
Additionally, SkyGarden is exploring the social commerce model, allowing customers to make purchases directly from their social networks. While specific details are yet to be shared, the social commerce approach targets buyers where they spend most of their time, ensuring a seamless shopping experience.
“Our group vision is to be a commerce catalyst for businesses and communities across Africa. We firmly believe that local ownership and operation are essential in understanding the needs of our people, contributing to the prosperity of our nation, and forging a true connection with our community,” Lipa Later Group CEO Eric Muli said.
As it made the announcement, Lipa Later also announced that it has closed a Ksh500 Million Privately placed debt issue and has sets sights on raising Ksh. 2 billion. The raise was supported by Rubicon Landing as the transaction advisors. Back in September, Lipa later secured a landmark approval for public fundraising in the US.