On-demand, last-mile, crowdsourced delivery service kwik has launched in Lagos, Nigeria, after raising seed funding in March, with the goal of expanding to other large metropolitan areas across Sub-Saharan Africa.
kwik, which will initially focus on deliveries via motorbike, was formed in July 2018 by two Frenchmen and two Nigerians, and has just launched its mobile apps.
“One of my friends at Deutsche Bank created a similar company two years ago in Asia, did very well and invited me to see how his company was running. I knew Nigeria already and it just made sense to adapt the concept to Nigerian expectations and deploy it there. Lagos has such a desire of efficiency,” said Romain Poirot-Lellig, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of kwik.
Poirot-Lellig said the gap in the market was one that legacy delivery companies are attempting to address today.
“You are a business, you are a law firm, you are a bank – getting documents or small packages around Lagos is a bit hellish because it can take forever, and existing firms seldom offer real-time tracking technology to give confidence and value to their customers,” he said.
“Our aim is to deliver anything that our cargo boxes can carry within the Lagos Metropolitan Area within a couple of hours, with transit insurance, real-time tracking, e-proof of delivery and a host of features aimed at businesses, such as scheduled orders, tour orders, return orders, and so on. And of course, it’s not just businesses – individuals can create an account in a couple of clicks as well.”
Poirot-Lellig self-funded the company until a seed round closed at the end of March. Worth US$230,000 in equity, plus less than US$100,000 in debt, the funding has helped get kwik off the ground.
“We are currently moving to offices in Yaba, which is a nice milestone, but the big landmark has been to see our first riders go around Lagos and embrace the software platform we developed as part of the private beta test we held in April,” said Poirot-Lellig.
“We have developed a great relationship with two highly-regarded Nigerian startups, Paystack and Paga, and we fully integrated their payment solutions in our platform.”
Immediate expansion plans for kwik, which takes a percentage of the amount that customers pay for deliveries, include a handful of other major Nigerian cities.