Logistics marketplace Bwala Africa has launched in Kenya, allowing users to hire cars, trucks and delivery vans and source for repairs, service and maintenance from trusted dealers and mechanics.
With a database of pick-ups, minibuses, trucks, tours and delivery vans, Bwala aims to take the pain of fleet management from corporate firms, SMEs and individuals so that they can focus on their core business.
For truck owners, it aims to be the go-to platform for more business, especially on return trips when most of them are empty. The platform also helps mechanics grow their client portfolio.
“I’m a car enthusiast and at times my family was trying to get a good mechanic but we found them engaged. There are many other good mechanics too, but the problem is accessing them. We will list those we vet and let the users rate them,” said Kennedy Nyabwala, the startup’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO).
Bwala’s key focus areas include vehicle leasing, light and heavy duty cargo haulage, FMCG distribution and fleet management, as well as vehicle repairs and maintenance. The firm will also deal with insurance cover and claims, and also has a segment for genuine auto parts dealers.
Now available in Nairobi, Bwala has been under pilot for the last year but will be expanding rapidly to major counties and urban centres in the country this year. It also plans to launch across East Africa, followed by expansion into Asia.
“We wanted to prove our concept and get customer validation before we go public,” Nyabwala said. “Our key focus will be in the African market, though we are also looking at the Asian market, starting with India and Philippines, because they have a lot of similarities with Africa, such as the growing middle class and the increasing rate of car ownership. These are the markets we want to play in.”