Sabunta – Another Attempt at E-Commerce in Nigeria, the ‘Free’ Way

Sabunta is an online fashion superstore that offers shoes, clothing and accessories in Nigeria with free delivery. The website is launching anytime now with great deals and the largest online selection of today’s top fashion, including your favorite international brands.

Sabunta is made up of an international, diverse & young team building a great company from the ground up – along with local expertise. The parent company Rocket Internet (who have invested in major e-commerce websites like Groupon, Zando and were early investors in Facebook) have invested in Sabunta to making it become Nigeria’s biggest fashion e-commerce website launching with over 100 global brands.

A quick look at the website (screenshot below), one would first be attracted to the image of shoes all over the place and of course the tag line of the service – SHOES AND FASHION ONLINE. Nonetheless, one cannot but overlook one word that comes up three times on the landing page – ‘FREE‘.

Many have tried, few are breaking even, but it seems like Sabunta will be making an attempt at figuring out how e-commerce will work in Nigeria and perhaps, all of Sub-Saharan Africa and it’s doing it the ‘Free‘ way. Shipping within Nigeria is ‘Free‘; there is a ‘Free‘ returns clause for 14 days, and calls made to Sabunta are ‘Free‘.

Is that what has been stopping people from patronizing or adopting e-commerce in Nigeria? Some may argue that the elephant in the room is ‘e-payment‘ – whether internet or mobile, but perhaps we’ve all been looking at this from that angle for too long. Let’s see where the ‘Free’ way leads to.

The Sabunta team includes two friends that met each other in East Africa last year working on privately-led development inititatives – Anthony Vita, VP Operations, who worked with TechnoServe in Uganda and prior in Finance in New York; and Leonard Stiegeler, Co-Founder and Managing Director, who has started his own charity at the London School of Economics.

Looking forwards to Jesse Ogun‘s article on how to best find a co-founder. One that’d end up in startups and companies like Sabunta, Jobberman, iROKO Partners, and Co-Creation Hub.

Update: The site and full service is now live.


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