Kenya’s Sky.Garden rebrands after $1.6m LipaLater investment
Sky.Garden, an online store, reopened today after a $1.6 million (KES 250 million) acquisition by the Lipa Later Group.
Sky, which is supported by the Lipa Later Group, has revamped its platform to add new features in its ecosystem, with the goal of connecting 100,000 merchants in the next year.
"Sky.Garden has evolved into a full-fledged e-commerce ecosystem that extends far beyond the confines of traditional online retail," says the company.
Sky.Garden is seeking to grow the base of entrepreneurs and retailers using the platform. Among the features offered are secure payment options, logistical support, marketing tools, and company intelligence.
The platform will also broaden the products offered to both merchants and consumers, said Juliet Wanjiru, Sky.Garden's head of e-commerce.
“By offering new goods such as Sky.Tickets, Sky.Logistics, Sky.Commerce, and Sky.Wallet, we are expanding our merchant categories to encompass a dynamic online marketplace for services and events,” she added.
“Specifically, Sky.Wallet would offer retailers finance, real-time transaction monitoring, direct bill payments (including utility bills and salaries), seamless deposits and withdrawals to Mpesa or Bank, and the option to open a bank account. This gives comprehensive financial assistance to businesses, allowing all merchant transactions to take place."
Lipa Later Group CEO Eric Muli said this investment will benefit both firms and customers. "The vision of our group is to be a commerce catalyst for African businesses and communities."
“We firmly believe that local ownership and operation are vital to understanding our people's needs, contributing to our country's growth, and forging meaningful bonds with our neighbours. Because of this local understanding, we have been able to bring the vast world of e-commerce closer to Kenyans while simultaneously creating opportunities for local businesses and merchants to flourish."