This SA startup is taking the “braai” digital

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For any of the non-South Africans reading this, a “braai” is a barbeque, and a vital part of the country’s culture.

Now that’s out of the way, down to business. The braai is going digital, thanks to South African startup MyBraai. Launched last year, MyBraai is a premium online butchery offering quality meat, poultry and braai accessories, delivered to households and businesses in South Africa with via a next-day delivery service.

Customers simply place orders online, pay for their goods, and have them delivered. All products are vacuum packed and stored in reusable polystyrene boxes.

MyBraai was launched by Dino Nathanael, who realised other such services were focused on serving the catering industry.

“We wanted to serve the individuals of the country and deliver directly to their homes. This was the initial idea that started the business, as it was not an area well-served in the country,” he said.

“We are building a brand that we believe South Africans will love and therefore form a part of their daily lives.”

The startup is self-funded but has managed to grow month-on-month on its own to date. It has around 80 customers ordering weekly, with the average order value standing at around ZAR3,500 (US$254).

“We source all products from various chicken, lamb, beef and pork suppliers, however we do have specifications for all products to be A-Grade quality products, and therefore we do not purchase anything less than that,” Nathanael said.

He said there had been a little skepticism in South Africa with regards to the safety of online business payment processing, but MyBraai was tackling that with marketing.

“The digital world has made it a lot easier to create brand awareness and therefore social media does play a large part of our marketing strategy. We have also put up a billboard in Pretoria,” Nathanael said.

“We are able to see that customers as well as potential customers do see the brand as being something new and different, as an online butchery is not something that many people are used to. It is up to us however to make sure that we gain the trust of people to believe in us enough to make their first purchase as we are confident they will place a second order with us as well.”

Gauteng currently makes up 80 per cent of MyBraai’s sales, though it does serve other provinces at a higher minimum order. Plans are afoot to expand further across the country.

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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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