A startup founded by university friends that has moved away from its initial model to find a product-market fit in the logistics space as it has been accepted into renowned accelerator programs. Swoove from Ghana has quite a story.
To dive connects businesses with networked logistics services to enable them to reach customers across the continent, the startup aiming to create technology to standardize and democratize logistics services for all businesses at the most affordable price.
The team started working together upon graduating from college in 2018, and went ahead and started freelancing to keep the business alive. Its original product, Curiashops, was a website building platform that aimed to help any small business build a free website in five minutes, with just a phone number.
“After a year of working on it, we realized that a major issue for our customers was delivery – it was expensive and not easily accessible, which made the platform incredibly difficult to develop. Just as e-commerce sites require payments, we realized that the e-commerce industry also needs logistics – seamless ease of access to affordable delivery, which was lacking in the market, ”said Kwaku Tabiri, CEO by Swoove.
“In addition, as a result of the pandemic, the e-commerce space has become increasingly competitive, spreading the need for logistics. More and more people have fled to e-commerce and that’s when we saw the opportunity. No one was solving the delivery problem.
Thus, Swoove was born.
“In Africa, the cost of delivery is 35% to 55% of the cost of the product, under pressure from issues such as weak infrastructure, limited delivery options and poor supply chain analyzes. In Ghana, the available third-party delivery services are decentralized and therefore operate inefficiently due to lack of knowledge and technology, ”Tabiri said. “It can be prohibitive when trying to make online sales, which results in lost sales. This is where we come in. “
Swoove’s platform connects delivery companies, via the web, USSD app and API, to e-commerce companies. Using batch processing and routing algorithms, customers can plan ahead and pay up to 50% less for deliveries, which Tabiri says gives it an edge in the market.
“Our technology also enables delivery companies to be efficient and make more deliveries on the go, while businesses benefit from more affordable deliveries. Everyone wins, ”said Tabiri.
So far, Swoove has served over 1,500 small businesses and delivered over 15,000 packages. This kind of pull has made it a popular startup with accelerators and even equity investors. He participated in the MEST Express startup accelerator, arriving first and winning a grant of US $ 15,000, then has set aside an additional US $ 120,000 in grant capital from the Catalyst Fund. With the startup only operating in Accra at the moment, that money will be used to expand to 15 more regions in Ghana by the first quarter of next year.
“We currently have a commission model and take a percentage of every delivery we make. We have achieved approximately $ 30,000 in revenue since our inception, ”said Tabiri.