By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
One of Africa’s leading agrifood-tech startups digitising its food supply chain, Vendease, has raised $3.2 million in a seed round to expand its operations on the continent.
The funding round was led by Global Founders Capital, a backer of one of Africa’s very first unicorns, Jumia, with participation from existing investors such as Paga’s Tayo Oviosu, Remita’s John Obaro, and Magic fund. At the same time, new angel investors who participated were Y Combinator, Hustle Fund, Liquid 2 Ventures, Hack VC, and Soma Capital.
The nine-month-old, Nigerian-based startup plans to use the fresh funding to increase its capacity in digitising procurement processes, storage operations, and logistics to bridge the gap of technology in Africa’s food supply chain, which has posed many problems.
The implementation of further building its technology will also provide a flexible payment system that will accelerate the growth of food businesses across the continent.
Speaking on the fresh investment, Vandease CEO, Mr Tunde Kara, said, “The rising food inflation coupled with effects of COVID-19 across Africa has positioned Vendease to scale up food systems by digitising end-to-end processes from farm to table.
“We currently operate out of Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja, but this funding will act as a buoy for us, as we scale our solution to other cities across the continent.”
While commending the team, the Managing Partner at Global Founders Capital of the United States of America, Mr Don Stalter, expressed optimism on utilising the investment.
He said, “We’ve seen a great deal of talent in the market – and Tunde and the Vendease team are best in class both in Europe, The Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and globally. Their laser focus and rapid growth are unprecedented, and there’s a massive opportunity ahead.”
Vandease was founded in January 2020 by Mr Kara, Mr Olumide Fayankin, Mr Gatumi Aliyu and Mr Wale Oyepeju and backed by YCombinator.
The firm operates an online marketplace, both mobile and web apps that allows restaurants and other food businesses to buy directly from farms and food manufacturers, manage inventory, track expenses and gain access to credit facilities.
The company said it delivered about 100,000 metric tons of food and has helped restaurants save about 5,000 person-hours in the last nine months, making the firm record a $12.9 million transaction volume in September 2021.
Helen Eyo’s Elen Homes to Change Face of Shortlets Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
For Helen Eyo, hospitality has been entrenched in her from a young age. For the last child in a family of six, taking care of others came naturally just as her acumen for business.
It was this that laid a foundation for her to establish Elen Homes, a shortlets company in Lagos with a vision to provide affordable housing to meet the surging demand.
Raised by hardworking parents with her father, a logistic consultant and a mother who is a fashion designer, Helen was taught to never limit herself to what existed in the periphery and she should always aim for better.
She was drawn to the shortlets business after proper research and intuition, the double trigger a smart business-oriented person needs. It was in her search for knowledge she realised that there was a dearth in the details in catering to customers in the hospitality business.
“I saw a need to paint my views on what hospitality should be like in Nigeria, many at times the hotels get in the wrong and the few persons into shortlets business as at when I got into the business were not making strides I was hoping for. I decided to take the leap of faith, turn a desire for change into a means of revenue,” the entrepreneur said.
And the results have always motivated her, she said, “the smiles and thank you I get from every one of my clients when they have to say goodbye from any of my apartments.”
“It gladdens my heart knowing I made someone feel special at their stay at any of my apartments by giving them the best of hospitality service,” she added.
However, even as the successes are a thing of delight, the businesswoman has faced a number of hurdles in the business, which she believes have a high risk as well as a high reward.
“So far, every challenge has been a rewarding lesson for me, so I’d like to say just like every other business, there are good days and there are bad days.
“When it is good, I like to make the most of it. When it isn’t good, I remember the good days and improve my strategy to ensure I return to good times,” she quipped.
She also believes that the sky is big enough for many people, especially those with the will to succeed to fly.
“Make a move. You will not know if you’d make it or not if you don’t make that first move.”
While data centres, healthcare developments, and logistic parks are the outliers in terms of driving Africa’s real estate growth in the short to medium term, Elen Homes is seeking to change the narrative around the shortlets sector through collaboration and inclusiveness.
P+ Measurement Services Wins Double at The Industry Awards
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A foremost Independent Public Relations measurement and evaluation agency in Nigeria, P+ Measurement Services, scored twice at The Industry Awards 2022 held in Lagos recently.
The company, established by a respected PR practitioner, Mr Philip Odiakose, was named the Leader in PR Measurement and Industry Influencer Awards (Public Relations).
According to the organisers of the event, P+ Measurement, which started operations in Lagos about six years ago, earned double laurels as a result of its quality offerings that surpass clients’ expectations and leading position in the sector.
While welcoming the honours, Mr Odiakose, who doubles as the organisation’s Chief Insights Officer, said the achievements depict the organisation’s bespoke solutions to clients across diverse business verticals which has led to optimum productivity and progression as intended, a situation that has made P+ Measurement Services the most sought after in the industry.
He affirmed that the awards are dedicated to the amazing personnel of P+ Measurement Services and the Nigeria Media Monitoring and Measurement community, pointing out that he is very much excited to see that the company’s works are getting the right recognition, after such a short time of its inception.
According to him, the award-winning and innovative organisation, with cutting-edge solutions, has dictated the pace of the Public Relations measurement and evaluation services with its distinctive approach to ensuring clients’ objectives are achieved.
Mr Odiakose put forward the point that P+ is strongly positioned to effectively deliver on its offerings, with state-of-the-art structure, process, and highly skilled media analysts in an exceptional and value-driven business model in line with global best practices.
Business Post reports that the awards came on the heels of the company’s rebranding business strategy with a new logo, website, and office to deepen penetration and maintain its dominant position in the industry it operates, with over 47 brands and 17 Public Relations agencies in Africa’s largest economy.
P+ Measurement is the only AMEC Member in Nigeria and has an exclusive partnership with the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Reel analytics, the biggest media monitoring agency in the East African region, covering more than five countries.
Its measurement and evaluation report are in-depth, robust, and flexible to accommodate valid metrics that brands desire to see reflected in their customised reports, and also based on the AMEC Standard by the Barcelona Principle 3.0.
The firm understands the value of valid PR metrics to its clients’ media performance audit reports and has been able to provide media monitoring, measurement, evaluation, and performance audit services for brands, agencies, and government bodies that operate in various industries and organisations ranging from Banking, Telecom, Insurance, Airlines, Tourism, Government, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Pensions, Health Management Organisations (HMOs), Tobacco and Lifestyle.
Also, as part of its efficient services, the measurement and evaluation company introduced “Get-Reports,” a novel product that allows the purchase of PR performance audit reports in key sectors including the 22 Commercial Nigerian Banks PR Performance Audit Report, Top Nigerian Insurance PR Performance Audit Report, Top Nigerian Digital Banks PR Performance Audit Report, and Top Online Streaming Services PR Performance Audit Report.
Here is Why Packaging Matters for Your Business
It wouldn’t be wrong to state that packaging is a crucial determining factor in how your potential customers perceive your brand or company. That said, investing in high-quality produce packagers will help your brand get the attention of your target audience.
You might want to look at packaging from the buyer’s perspective as it will help you determine what will grab their attention and boost your sales. Think about this, you are entering a store and picking new products to take home – understandably, the first thing you will see on the shelf is the packaging before the product itself.
Here are crucial reasons why packaging matters and why you should never skimp on the product packaging:
Demonstrate Brand Identity
The better the packaging, the better you will connect with your target audience; however, you must ensure that the packaging creates a perfect impression of your business and the product(s) inside the packaging.
While designing the box and packaging of your products, you will want the packaging to serve as a reminder to your customers about your business and products. To incorporate brand identity in the product packaging, you might want to focus on the following aspects:
- A clear display of your business logo on the package/ box.
- Use of attractive colours, fonts, and brand trademarks.
- The box should have a good first impression on new customers.
- Ideally, the packaging should also rekindle old memories of your loyal customer base.
When it comes to effective packaging, you might want to ensure that everything that is written on the packaging is informative and things that your customers need to know.
Boost Customer Experience
You might have heard about the unboxing experience before – it is all over social media, where potential buyers share their unboxing experience with the world. That said, smart business owners use their product packaging and the subsequent unboxing experience as a marketing strategy.
As a newbie entrepreneur, you might want to think back to the days when you were a kid on Christmas. Remember those days when you would wake up really early and run to find your presents underneath the Christmas tree.
Reminiscing back, you might realize the excitement about the colourful presents that are elegantly wrapped, and as you tear them apart, it is pure thrill, excitement, and exhilaration going through your body.
Today, as an adult, you can get the same feeling when you come home and see a package on your doorstep – even when you know exactly what it is you are getting, there is still that level of excitement and bliss when you are unboxing it.
If you are an e-commerce brand and sell your products online, leveraging this emotion is an amazing way to leave a positive, long-lasting impression on your customer, especially when they are most receptive.
How to Create the Best Unboxing Experience
If we look at the packaging – we see that it is the first contact point for your customer, and quality packaging can lead customers to try out your contact for the first time. Therefore, it is most important that you leave a lasting positive first impression.
The first step to designing a perfect unboxing experience is the use of custom packaging. You might think of the box as your stage to present your product to your potential customers when it is opened.
The next part of creating a killer unboxing experience is what is inside the box, which isn’t just the product itself. You might want to print inside the box to add a level of luxury and a little touch of elegance, which is also a great way to say “thank you” and maybe keep a hidden message in there that is only for your customers.
The hidden message can be as simple as a thank you note – printed or handwritten. If you look at the note from the customer’s viewpoint, you will understand how empowering such a note can be by making your customers feel like they own a product. This is also a great way to add to the ideal unboxing experience.
Packaging as a Marketing Strategy
A good-quality box is great for an influencer\s unboxing video – another innovative digital marketing strategy you cannot ignore as a business owner. You need to create a great unboxing experience that is not just for the customer but also because there is a great chance that your product might end up in a social media influencer’s video.
Today’s consumers rely heavily on online product reviews before they buy them. Combine this fact with the fact that YouTube is the second-most popular search engine globally. And you might have already witnessed the role that unboxing videos play in forming an opinion about a product before someone buys the product.
So, if your product is going to end up in an unboxing video, your unboxing experience must be flawless.
Use Packaging to Provide Value
Some people believe that an unboxing experience is a waste of resources; however, the truth is that the best unboxing experiences are eco-friendly. Creating the best unboxing experience is that it is very easy to go overboard with an unboxing experience.
But a good unboxing experience is never about adding more stuff – on the contrary, a good unboxing experience is simply about delivering “more” value to your potential customers than they anticipate.
The product packaging and the unboxing experience are all about delivering more value according to your morals and brand’s value. A good unboxing experience might include the addition of discount vouchers and void fillers and other freebies into the box.
However, a good unboxing experience might also be something as simple as saying thanks and putting the thank you note inside the box.
It doesn’t matter how attractive and high-quality your product is if you fail to do justice to the packaging. Many small business owners tend to skimp on the packaging while focusing on the product’s quality.
That said, as a business owner, never make the mistake of neglecting the significance of quality packaging.
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