Sky.Garden, an online retailer in Kenya, recently underwent a significant transformation following a KES 250 million investment from the Lipa Later Group. This substantial buyout has allowed Sky.Garden to rebrand and enhance its e-commerce platform, with ambitious plans to connect 100,000 merchants in the upcoming year.
The global landscape of social commerce, which integrates social media and online shopping, is growing rapidly. It is forecasted to reach $1.2 trillion by 2025, a substantial increase from the current $492 billion. This growth is mainly driven by younger generations like Gen Z and Millennials, who are predicted to contribute 62% of the global social commerce expenditure by 2025.
Sky.Garden’s new identity transcends traditional e-commerce boundaries, aiming to revolutionise how businesses operate and consumers shop. Its ecosystem provides a comprehensive suite of services that support local businesses, including payment solutions, logistic support, marketing tools, and business insights. For consumers, Sky.Garden promises a diverse range of products and services, along with a continually evolving shopping experience.
Juliet Wanjiru, Head of E-commerce at Sky.Garden, expressed enthusiasm about this transformation, marking it as a milestone in Sky.Garden’s journey to broaden its offerings for merchants and customers.
Sky.Garden has introduced several innovative products, such as Sky.Tickets, Sky.Logistics, Sky.Commerce, and Sky.Wallet, diversifying its merchant categories to encompass a dynamic online marketplace for services and events. Sky.Wallet, in particular, offers financial solutions like access to financing, transaction monitoring, and direct bill payments. Sky.Logistics commits to same-day delivery for customers.
In a major advancement, Sky.Garden has also entered the social commerce arena with Sky.Commerce. This platform integrates social interactions with e-commerce, allowing users to discover, share, and purchase products within their social networks. It’s a significant move for merchants to increase sales and for shoppers to engage in a more social shopping experience.
The company also emphasizes its commitment to building a secure and transparent online marketplace, addressing the common concerns about trust in online shopping.
Eric Muli, CEO of Lipa Later Group, highlighted the investment’s dual impact on businesses and customers. He stressed the importance of local ownership and operation in understanding and meeting the needs of the Kenyan community, thus bringing the global e-commerce market closer to them.
This relaunch is timely, aligning with the rapid expansion of e-commerce in Kenya and other African countries, fueled by factors like growing internet penetration and more affordable data costs. By 2030, internet penetration in Africa is expected to reach nearly 70%, a significant increase from 45% in 2023. This growth, predominantly driven by mobile connectivity, is set to further boost the African e-commerce market.
Sky.Garden’s rebranding and expansion, backed by the investment from Lipa Later Group, positions it at the forefront of the evolving e-commerce and social commerce landscapes in Kenya and potentially across Africa.