On-demand shipping startup Fastvan recently launched its logistics app on the Apple App Store and on Android via the Google Play Store, and plans to expand beyond South Africa to the rest of the continent and Europe over the next few years.
Customers can use Fastvan to submit their delivery requests through their smartphone, with nearby courier drivers notified and able to accept the job. Once the job is accepted, businesses have the chance to track their courier throughout the delivery process.
The startup joins the likes of Rush and WumDrop in the busy South African logistics market, and like its competitors is looking to revolutionise and reinvent the industry by moving the entire system online, creating increased automation, efficiency and transparency.
Daud Nur, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Fastvan, told Disrupt Africa the startup was formed out of necessity at the end of 2014 when he wanted to ship some parcels from the United Kingdom (UK), which then got lost twice within the postal system.
“Courier companies are geared towards businesses and not individuals, leaving the individuals on higher shipping rates and having to fill in application and registration forms to open an account, with paperwork and hassle they don’t want to have to go through,” he said.
The app was developed over the last year in San Francisco, and is now available via iOS and Android. Nur said Fastvan was currently working on its desktop site, which should be available in April.
“We provide efficiency and transparency, convenience to customers and a number of payment methods such as credit card, debit card, and e-wallet credit facility for businesses,” he said.
“The app allows immediate or advance bookings, as well as multiple bookings and tracking in real time.”
Customers can rate drivers on the app and receive automatic invoices by e-mail. Fastvan has partnered with leading courier companies to offer its customers high quality and real-time services.
Fastvan – which works on the same business model s Uber, taking a 20 per cent commission – raised seed capital from an angel investor in the UK, and will be looking to raise Series A capital this year to fund its expansion. Though South Africa is the scene of its initial launch, the startup plans to expand to other African countries by 2017, and eventually to European countries in 2018.