Kenyan startup Smatbeba is rolling out its on-demand logistics solution, which links cargo owners with delivery drivers via mobile apps.
Founded in July last year and formally launched in March, Smatbeba allows senders to enter their details, request quotes, arrange deliveries, make payments and obtain receipts via its mobile apps or on its website.
Co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) Emily Mogeni said Smatbeba was built to tackle issues such as delayed deliveries, lost or damaged goods, inefficiencies, unreliable drivers and high costs. Though there are competitors in the market – Sendy and Lori Systems being two that immediately come to mind – she said Smatbeba had a competitive advantage in the breadth of its service offering.
“We have an advantage because we offer all types of delivery services, from small goods to large cargo, many vehicle sizes and at any distance within Kenya,” Mogeni said.
“We are also dynamic, and despite targeting B2C clients, our major clients so far are businesses.”
Self-funded, Smatbeba has already completed well over 200 deliveries, with its main clients being Tuskys Supermarkets, Mzuri Sweets, Sky.Garden and Maduka. Mogeni said getting the startup off the ground had been exciting and challenging at the same time.
“Being new in the market has its challenges, such as resistance to change from our potential customers, and lack of resources, especially human capital and finances, but our goal is to walk one stride at a time. The future looks good, especially with our first corporate client Mzuri Sweets, which has given us the opportunity to do all their deliveries within the country,” she said.
“Tuskys Supermarkets started slowly with just one location in Embakasi and for online purchases only, but they have introduced Tuskys Chicken and proposed us to be their delivery partner. We are currently modifying our platform to include online food ordering and delivery, and this is going to open new doors to approach other supermarkets and restaurants. This will give us some growth, stability and traction.”
Smatbeba, which charges a commission of 20 per cent, is mainly concentrated on Nairobi for now, though it does undertake long-distance deliveries to other parts of the country.
“Our goal is to expand to every part of the country by the end of the year, with a plan to be in the East African region by the end of 2020,” said Mogeni.