Lipa later acquires East Africa’s e-commerce platform SkyGarden

The move will re-energize the firm’s commitment to bridge the gap between the merchant and a customer.

Lipa Later, a platform that allows consumers to ‘buy now and pay later’, has acquired SkyGarden, an e-commerce platform, as part of its plans to expand its customer base and solidify its presence in the market.

SkyGarden, which has raised north of $6,000,000 prior to the buyout, will now be fully owned by Lipa Later group and will continue to operate as a standalone business. Its employees will also be integrated into the Lipa Later team.

“We have a lot of team synergies, a lot of similar skill sets, and so on. So integrating our team has been a seamless process,” Lipa Later CEO Eric Muli told journalists today.

Mr Muli said the driving force behind the decision to acquire SkyGarden was informed by the fact that the e-commerce industry has exploded in recent years, providing businesses with the opportunity to reach customers quickly, cheaply, and more often.

He noted that the move is timely as the fintech continues to build an end-to-end avenue that connects merchants to customers and vice versa.

“Guided by our objective to empower African businesses and consumers to do more by enabling e-commerce, financial inclusion and shopping all on one centralized and fully integrated platform, our plan has always been to venture into e-commerce with unique value propositions for our consumers… This acquisition has greatly accelerated our plans of redefining the shopping experience for consumers,” Muli said, adding that expansion plans are in place to see Sky Garden integrated across other Lipa Later countries of operation which include Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria. 

In October this year, SkyGarden announced plans to shut down because of failure to raise funds. Today, the e-commerce platform will live on with new owners and new management.

“We saw no other option than to file for insolvency,” Martin Majlund, founder of Sky Garden, said. “We built a great product over time, and I believe Lipa Later has the potential to take Sky Garden to the next level. Through this acquisition, the vision of Sky Garden will continue to live on while retaining jobs and businesses on our platform.”

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