Alerzo, a Nigerian B2B eCommerce retail startup, has announced that it has acquired Shago Payments to accelerate its transformation from a B2B marketplace to an all-in-one technology platform.
The acquisition of Shago, founded by Sabastine Enechi, will boost Alerzo’s push into digital products and financial services. With Shago’s integration into AlerzoPay, the company’s payments arm, Alerzo now provides informal retail stores with a portfolio of new digital services such as mobile airtime top-up; bill payments and peer-to-peer transfers.
The startup which recently raised a $10.5 million investment also disclosed that its annualised September transaction volume exceeded US$155 million, growing more than fivefold since the beginning of 2021.
Founded by Adewale Opaleye in Ibadan, Nigeria’s third-largest city, in 2019, Alerzo provides more than 150,000 informal retail stores—more than 90% of which are operated by women—with free same-day delivery, cashless payments, and a portfolio of other digital services that enhance store profitability while simplifying owners’ lives.
“I started Alerzo to help my mom, a single mother who ran two informal retail stores to support me and my three siblings. Before Alerzo, she had to close her shop and travel for hours to buy the inventory to stay in business,” said Opaleye.
“Women are often victims of theft because street boys know retail store operators often carry cash. I wanted to apply what I learned in China to make life better for working mothers in Nigeria.”
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, the co-founder of Flutterwave and Andela and a member of Alerzo’s advisory board said: “Most businesses talk a good game about financial and economic inclusion but then proceed to focus their businesses on commercially savvy megacities like Lagos or Nairobi.
“Alerzo’s focus on excluded but commercially viable commerce communities in smaller cities like Ibadan is exemplary and visionary. I’m inspired by their focus on communities that are truly excluded.”
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