South African e-commerce start-up Yebo Fresh has secured a pre-Series A equity investment of R78 million (~$4.5 million) and a Jobs Fund grant.

The company streamlines the purchasing process for independent businesses by allowing orders to be placed via WhatsApp or through field sales agents and delivering orders within 24 hours using a dark store-based fulfilment model. Yebo Fresh also offers a buy-now-pay-later option, which is aimed at informal businesses that do not have access to formal loans.

The startup claims to be the only player exclusively focused on the South African township market and has a rapidly growing network of Spaza shops, prepared food outlets, and other businesses.

The new capital injection will allow Yebo Fresh to expand into new product categories, and market segments, and build on its physical and systems infrastructure. This will also provide the company with the opportunity to gather more data insights, further strengthening its unique position in the market.

According to CEO Jessica Boonstra, the funding will also help the company attract new talent and explore further partnership opportunities.