Nigerian e-commerce logistics startup Africa Courier Express (ACE) plans to offer its service across the whole of Africa one day after securing sizeable funding.
Disrupt Africa reported earlier this month payments company Interswitch had invested US$850,000 in ACE, formerly know as A-Post, while the startup has also raised money from Africa Angels Network and Savannah Fund.
ACE offers same day and next day delivery, real-time tracking of packages and pay-on delivery services to online and offline retail companies, consumer goods businesses, healthcare companies and banks across Nigeria.
Co-founders Ercin Eksin and Tunde Kehinde told Disrupt Africa the startup had the potential to help drive Africa’s growing e-commerce sector, which meant there were significant expansion opportunities for the future.
“We are focused on Nigeria currently, offering pay-on-delivery services across five cities and pre-paid delivery nationwide. However, our goal is to offer our services across Africa,” Eksin said.
Kehinde said the startup’s vision was to use logistics to enable commerce across Africa.
“Likewise, our goal is to allow the everyday SME and individuals ship packages across the continent affordably, track their shipment and receive payment at the point of delivery,” he said.
Eksin said the startup filled an important gap as logistics in Sub-Saharan Africa is difficult given the lack of infrastructure and poor addressing across the continent.
“These, coupled with the fact that most logistics businesses today need expertise in pay-on-delivery services, and this makes our job quite difficult,” he said.
“However, the growing e-commerce and retail market means there are more consumers and businesses demanding world-class partners to help move goods across the continent.”
Kehinde agreed African consumers do not currently have reliable options to ship, track and monitor their packages.
“Our biggest advantage has been our ability to merge logistics with technology allowing us to achieve speedy delivery and offer a strong customer experience as well.”
Though revenues and funding so far have been strong, establishing the company has not been without its difficulties.
We can never run out of talent so we are always on the lookout for great talent,” Kehinde said.
“Another challenge is the poor road infrastructure we encounter across the markets we operate in. However, the opportunity in Africa is so much larger than the challenges and we are excited to tackle all challenges and help our customers grow and move their goods across the continent.”