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Bolt Delves into Food Delivery Business After €20m Funding

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Bolt Food Delivery

By Ahmed Rahma

A ride-hailing company, Bolt, is expanding its offerings in Nigeria with the launch of a food delivery service.

The company announced this through a job advert on its official website.

“We are launching our new food delivery service and we are looking for a Restaurant Sales Manager who can help in establishing partnerships with local businesses,” the ad read.

Recently, a member of the World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC), invested €20 million in the company to help expand its access to mobility and delivery services in underserved urban areas in Africa and Eastern Europe—including in South Africa, Nigeria, and Ukraine.

“We are looking forward to partnering with IFC to further support entrepreneurship, empower women and increase access to affordable mobility services in Africa and Eastern Europe. Together with the investment from the European Investment Bank last year, we are proud to have sizable and strategically important institutions backing us and recognizing the strategic value Bolt is providing to emerging economies,” said Markus Villig, CEO and Founder of Bolt.

Since the pandemic, many businesses added food delivery to their model. In Nigeria, the food delivery market attracted a lot of attention during the lockdown with companies like Jumia introducing Jumia foods and Gokada switching to food delivery since the okada ban in Lagos, Nigeria

According to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Lagos residents spent ₦830 billion ($2 billion) eating out in 2019; representing 34% of total food expenditure which signifies that the food delivery service in Nigeria is a thriving market, large enough for Bolt to be competing with Jumia and Gokada.

Bolt currently offers food delivery services in 16 countries and 33 cities across the world

Ahmed Rahma is a journalist with great interest in arts and craft. She is also a foodie who loves new ideas. She loves to travel and would love to visit other African countries someday. She is a sucker for historical movies and afrobeat.

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ADVAN Kicks Against APCON’s Code of Conduct

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ADVAN AISOP

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

The Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) has rejected the implementation of the new code of conduct titled Advertising Industry Standard of Practice (AISOP) introduced by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

According to the association, the provisions of the framework “make an unconstitutional attempt to infringe on the rights of private entities to determine their contractual terms.”

Business Post reports that earlier, APCON had released this document as part of efforts to sanitise the integrated marketing communication space given that the industry had operated without a code of conduct.

Reacting to this in a statement signed by ADVAN’s Acting President, Mrs Bunmi Adeniba, the association noted that it was excited to be a part of any initiative that would bring about the development of industry best practices that will facilitate business growth.

It, however, maintained that “the current AISOP does not serve the collective interest, but rather permits unfair authority of certain parties over others and creates an unfriendly business framework.”

The body countered the details of the document in section 5 subsection b (Discounts and Commissions) where it states that “no party will unilaterally dictate or impose rates on another party except as may be mutually agreed by upon by the parties.”

“However in the summary submitted to the press, there is a clause that states ‘Media rates may be increased at any time provided that at least 30 days’ notice is given prior to implementation’. Latter of which was not included on original documents, further portraying an inconsistency in expectation.”

To this end, ADVAN disclosed, “(we have) sent in a clear representation of expectation. ADVAN is on standby for the acknowledgement of this position and further engagement on a standard of practice framework that is in the mutual interest of all.”

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How Start-ups Can Leverage 360 Degrees Marketing Techniques to Increase Sales

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360 Degrees Marketing Techniques

By Emmanuel Otori

Sales are a determinant of whether a business would survive or not. The lifeblood of every business is embedded in the day-to-day activities that can generate consistent cash flow.

Some organizations get caught up in trying to do many things are at a time which makes their progression towards activities that contribute to their downline flawed and is visible in the finances of the organizations.

Organizations are not necessarily alarmed until there is a sharp drop in revenue; however, a sharp drop in revenue is only an indication of many other factors beyond what has been observed. This revenue drop is a symptom that some core activities are ailing such as staff retention, customer service, lack of repeat sales, poor product management, unclear definitions of the target market, lack of promotional.

If the sale is consistent, a business can survive the most difficult phases as cash flow is directly linked to the overall activities.

The most important question to ask then is “how can more sales be made”? Without asking this question, the business risks every other form of major distraction.

The 360 degrees Marketing Techniques

The 360 degrees marketing techniques are sometimes called Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). These techniques are a mix of several activities that organizations are engaged in to increase awareness about a product or service.

The perception of visibility by a customer over a long period of time consistently makes a brand become a sort of inevitable to a customer whenever they need to make a purchasing decision as the brand is the first to come to mind due to the number of exposures they have had with the prospect and vice-versa.

Email Marketing

Email is one of the easiest and fastest ways to reach a large audience and when properly deployed has the potential to create a consistent stream of customers, as it takes the form of a closed user group through the reception of newsletters by the customers and overtime a relationship is built through readership as the audience are regularly updated about eh activities of the organization or products and services.

Email Marketing also helps to create some form of targets as there are metrics that could show who reads a particular newsletter and how many times. Observing the behaviour of the readers and the type of content they are reading could initiate a purchase decision by offering a product that compliments what they read.

Blogging

Blogging is similar to email marketing, but while email marketing is only sent to subscribers or users generated through a third party, blogging reaches out to all possible audiences that are online and serves as a tool to consistently inform customers about the product, services or activities of a business. Regular blogging should average up to 3-5 blog posts weekly to make conversions; this done over a period of 6 months is a guarantee for increased sales.

Granting Media Interviews

As much as the new media is emerging greatly, the traditional media still holds a sit in the preference of most audiences and the ability to use these tools such as television, radio and print media is key to reaching a lot of people. The conversations on these platforms create a direct connection with the listeners as it is visual and the ability to see the person being interviewed as they share industry-based experience makes them look to most audiences like thought leaders. This done over time would make such personality become a face and voice in their sector.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization is arguably the first on the list of all techniques as it reduces the time, effort and energy to directly reach out to prospective customers. SEO guarantees that prospects can easily find an offer and make a purchase decision as it places a brand right where the audience is seeking answers. Sales are also made round the clock with no limitation of where the customer buys from.

Networking

Getting exposure as a Founder for your business is necessary to build a personal brand first, as this benefit extends to a business brand as trust can easily be built when people can interact with the owner of the business. A core part of business visibility is to ensure that a business owner continuously puts themselves out there as many times as possible, and this consistency over time is able to drastically build loyalty right from the onset and sales.

While there are many other techniques in addition to the ones mentioned, engaging in one or more of these activities has the potential to increase the revenue base of the business and reachability.

Emmanuel Otori has worked on the GEM Project of the World Bank, conducted training for entrepreneurs and professionals at the Abuja Enterprise Agency and has over 8 years of experience working with over 50 SMEs across Nigeria. He can be reached via https://www.linkedin.com/in/emmanuelotori/

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Sendbox Raises $1.8m to Digitise Deliveries for African SMEs

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Sendbox

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigerian-based e-commerce merchant platform, Sendbox, has raised a $1.8 million seed round from investors comprising 4DX Ventures, Enza Capital, FJLabs and Golden Palm Investments.

With participation from Flexport and YC Combinator as part of its 2021 winter cohort, Sendbox’s total investment raised has now reached $2 million following a pre-seed round from Microtraction and 4DX Ventures in 2018.

The injection of the new fund will allow the platform to further digitise deliveries for African small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) through its delivery management platform, which aggregates logistics providers and enables tracking.

The next stage of the company’s growth will see a move towards financing and payments, followed by e-commerce and marketplace integrations across West Africa and further afield.

The company will also be able to offer a solution for merchants who lack the high volumes required to attract discounted delivery fees.

To date, over 10,000 Nigerian SMEs have sent 200,000 products through Sendbox, saving on average 30-40 per cent per item by eliminating the need to work with separate logistics providers.

According to the company, the new funding will be used to expand the company’s operations in other countries across West Africa, bolster the development of its product range, and hire new talent.

Commenting on Sendbox’s fundraise and growth ambitions, Mr Emotu Balogun, CEO and co-founder of Sendbox said, “No matter where in the world customers are, we want African SMEs to be able to reach them.

“Deliveries in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan have made up a large proportion of business for our domestic merchants. On top of that, affordable access to the UK, EU, US, and Canada has created an opportunity to sell products to hundreds of millions of previously unreachable buyers.

“With this fundraise, we aim to support more and more SMEs and help them grow both locally and internationally, scaling alongside them as we connect African merchants with a global community of consumers.”

On his part, Mr Walter Baddoo, co-founder and General Partner at 4DX Ventures said, “African e-commerce is accelerating faster than anybody could have imagined a decade ago, and it needs smart solutions to ensure that logistics and fulfilment capacity doesn’t lag behind.

“Not only were we impressed by Sendbox’s 300 per cent year-on-year growth since launch, but we’re seeing the market potential balloon with over 40 million Nigerian SMEs and a projected industry value for social and e-commerce reaching $45 billion on the continent by 2025.”

With 200 million Instagram users and one million Instagram businesses in Nigeria alone, Sendbox is well-positioned to serve this growing market and multiply its merchant count over the coming months, adding that it is planning on banking on mobile penetration on the continent.

Launched in 2018, the company provides affordable access to local and international delivery options for small-scale merchants selling on e-commerce and social media platforms.

Accessible to iOS and Android users, via a web application, on Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram and other e-commerce platforms, and through developer APIs, Sendbox is providing a single location to manage both local deliveries and international shipments to the European Union, UK, US and Canada.

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