Nigerian startup pilots e-commerce platform for cooking gas

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Nigerian startup QuickGas has successfully completed piloting its e-commerce platform for cooking gas in the northern city of Jos, with impressive results.

Formed at the end of last year, QuickGas launched its pilot in Jos in January with the goal of bringing efficiency into the cooking gas sector.

The startup provides users with a convenient, cheap, fast and efficient platform to purchase cooking gas and other accessories. Gas is currently sourced from plants, but QuickGas is looking for funding to set up its own.

“We are working to bring in more efficiency into the cooking gas sector, specifically as it relates to the end-user. We spotted a need to bring in heightened convenience for the end-user in terms of delivery to their doorstep,” QuickGas co-founder Peter Acheme Inalegwu told Disrupt Africa.

“The QuickGas platform saves customers cost, time, energy and stress. The gap we are filling is making gas purchase convenient, simple and appealing for users by leveraging on the high internet and mobile penetration in Nigeria.”

The service has had a positive reception, beating all of the initial targets for its pilot in Jos. QuickGas has had almost 800 users, having targeted 320, while the 28 metric tonnes of gas sold easily beat its target of 5.75. Having targeted 460 transactions, it eventually completed 2,430 over the eight month.

All this with just NGN1.5 million (US$5,000) in angel funding, with QuickGas now looking for further investment to expand across Nigeria and West Africa following the successful pilot. Inalegwu said the startup is eyeing the huge opportunity in the cooking gas market in the region, which is worth US$1.26 billion.

“Nigeria alone takes 38 per cent of the market. We want to extend our service across the country and beyond its shores, but we are also careful to do this gradually and strategically,” he said.

“We have put a model in place for the distribution of cooking gas, now this model is ready for replication. Our plan is to start with northern Nigeria in the coming months.”

QuickGas makes its margins by procuring gas in bulk at dealer prices before selling to users at a profit. Securing further funding will be key to increasing these margins as the startup scales.

“We are unable to buy gas from the cheapest source because we lack sufficient funding to set up a storage facility and expand,” Inalegwu said. “We also encountered some challenges considering the present unstable economy and business atmosphere, which resulted in the change in price of cooking gas, though it will soon go back to normal.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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