Kwik Delivery, a Lagos-based startup in the logistics industry, is looking to expand outside its base in the country’s commercial capital following the completion of a $2 million fundraising, chief executive Romain Poirot-Lellig has said.
Abuja tops the line-up of cities, and Poirot-Lellig is optimistic his firm will be operating there by January end. Kwik is also eyeing the Ghanaian market, with Accra as a potential target.
The fundraising was shared almost equally between Nigeria and foreign investors, according to The Africa Report. The fund will suffice, for the time being, the CEO said. “I don’t believe in overspending,” he added.
Frenchman Poirot-Lellig established Kwik last June. The firm offers B2B and B2C deliveries, with parcels ranging from pharmaceutical goods and food during the Covid-19 lockdown to car spare parts, hair extensions as well as cosmetics.
The company branched out into truck delivery last month after starting off with motorbikes. Swift delivery in Africa’s biggest city by population, Lagos, is a daunting challenge. Gridlock in the city is so overwhelming that commuters could lose up to 75 percent of their working week, going by a study by Emmanuel Moghal of the Centre for Multidisciplinary Research and Innovation in Abuja.
Yet, the Kwik CEO is undeterred by this snag, saying problem-solving is “what being an entrepreneur is all about.”
Kwik entered a deal this month with Mastercard, whose clients number 70 million in Nigeria. Cardholders are in for a 10 percent discount on Kwik Delivery Services in as much as they pay with their cards.
Kwik is looking to profit from Mastercard’s advertising of its services through the latter’s partner banks.
The firm is in rivalry with Jumia, an e-commerce platform that announced its opening of logistics services to third parties in November.
Poirot-Lellig views the relationship between his organisation and Jumia as one of “co-petition” – competition combined with co-operation. “You need to use the best partner at any given time,” he said.
According to him, one of the bright sides of the coronavirus outbreak is the chance for deeper digitalisation of the continental economy. Software platforms are capable of raising productivity and opening new opportunities, he said.