Fez Delivery Raises $1m to Boost Logistics Offering in Nigeria
By Adedapo Adesanya
Fez Delivery, a logistics and delivery company, has announced its $1 million seed round to expand its offering in Nigeria.
The funding was led by Ventures Platform with participation from Voltron Capital, Acasia Ventures (formerly Cairo Angels), and other angel investors.
This funding announcement follows Fez Delivery’s acceptance as one of the only two logistics companies in Nigeria to have received investment from Techstars Toronto, an elite global tech accelerator.
Fez Delivery was founded in 2020 by Mrs Seun Alley as a pivot from its previous company, which offered janitorial services to businesses but suffered from absenteeism of the janitors because they were running errands for employees.
Speaking on the funding, she said the company would use it to reposition as a full-fledged tech company focused on last-mile deliveries.
“We launched a janitorial service company in 2016. The following year, we observed a trend of janitors being absent from their duty posts because they were on errands for employees.
“As a stop-gap, we introduced delivery services to the companies we were working with so that our janitors could focus on their work. It was wildly successful. This experience made us realise that last-mile logistics is a significant problem for SMEs and individuals.
“We decided to address this problem by creating a platform that allows businesses and individuals to easily track their items online in real-time, without using multiple logistics partners,” she stated.
The logistics industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in Nigeria, spurred by the meteoric rise in online shopping, which generated an estimated revenue of $5 billion in 2019 with an expected CAGR of 20.5 per cent from then till now.
The size of this opportunity has led to the rise of many logistic businesses in the country. Yet, many struggle to differentiate themselves and run a sustainable business.
Fez Delivery distinguishes itself in the market by offering tailored and hybrid solutions that combine physical touchpoints with technology to serve its customers.
“Our learnings over the last seven years have revealed that different business priorities exist regarding last-mile delivery,” Mrs Alley said, adding that “For FinTech, reach is critical. For Pharma, the estimated delivery time is a big deal, and the pricing must be competitive for SMEs.
“Therefore, we have built an array of tech-enabled solutions; mobile and web apps (targeted at individuals), dashboards and APIs (for businesses) alongside a wide physical reach that spans all the 36 states in Nigeria, including the FCT.”
The three-year-old startup makes money by charging individuals per delivery, and businesses a monthly subscription.
In 2022, the logistics startup completed 200,000 trips and grew revenue by 20 per cent month-on-month. Its clientèle includes the likes of Flutterwave, Kuda Bank, Moniepoint, OPay, Famasi Africa, and Red Bull.
Adding his input, the Marketing Manager of Redbull Nigeria, Mr Toheeb Azeez, said, “Fez Delivery has been a reliable and affordable delivery service for our company since its inception. They have a wide reach across all the 774 local governments in Nigeria, which makes it easy for us to get our products to our customers quickly and efficiently. We are also impressed with their customer service, which is always prompt and helpful”.
The co-founder and CTO, Mr Oluwafemi Jose, stated that “our goal has always been to create something truly transformative. We’re excited to use this funding to accelerate our innovation, expand our team, deepen our development efforts and bring more value to our customers and partners.”
General Partner at Ventures Platform Fund, Mr Dotun Olowoporoku, added, “We are excited to partner with Fez Delivery in their mission to bring efficiency to the logistics industry. This industry is characterised by high fragmentation, demand-supply mismatch, and lack of transparency due to heavy manual processes. Seun, a second-time founder, is an excellent operator with a solid vision for the future of last-mile delivery. By developing technology to enable other market players to thrive, Fez Delivery is well-aligned with our investment thesis to support market-creating innovation in underserved industries.”
Fez Delivery also added that it would continue to deepen its work in Nigeria before considering other African markets.
“We’re currently focused on the $10 billion transport and logistics market in Nigeria, where we still have room to grow. We plan to keep growing in Nigeria and expand to other markets starting in the last quarter of this year. Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa are on our list, but we haven’t decided on the order yet”, Mrs Alley added.
Airtel Employees Donate Routers to Lagos Secondary School
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Some routers loaded with 100GB of data and a two-month roll-over access fee have been donated to a government-owned secondary school in Lagos, Kuramo College, by employees of Airtel Nigeria.
The items were given to the school by Airtel employees under the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, Employee Volunteer Scheme Initiative.
The routers, specifically donated by the Airtel Information and Technology team, are expected to aid digital learning in the school and boost the knowledge of the students.
“Airtel aims to empower young minds by equipping them with the connectivity to imagine and unlock a world of knowledge and opportunities.
“For Airtel, it is no longer about being a smartphone network but giving people a reason to imagine so that people can explore the possibilities powered by technology and connectivity.
“The world is evolving; young Nigerians now have access to unlimited possibilities and can now create their job titles and descriptions, which is why we now have YouTubers, social media Influencers and the likes,” the Director of Information and Technology at Airtel Nigeria, Mr Seun Solanke, said.
He encouraged the students to maximize the provision of connectivity to back up their future imaginations with the right information and resources to ensure a bright future.
The activities under the Airtel Nigeria Employee Volunteer Scheme, said Airtel management, aligns with the company’s commitment to bridging the digital divide in the country and enabling students to leverage the power of the internet, as the distribution of routers with data plans will ensure that students have uninterrupted access to educational resources, research materials, and online learning platforms, regardless of their socio-economic background.
Zoho Grows User Base to 90 million, Posts 65% Upmarket Growth
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
More and more people are embracing the products of Zoho Corporation, a leading global technology company, as the company now boasts more than 90 million users across more than 600,000 global businesses of all sizes.
Also, the organisation has recorded a three-year CAGR of 65 per cent in mid-market and enterprise segments, representing one-third of the entire business.
This is because of the steady upmarket growth Zoho is recording across the Middle East and Africa region, with its seventh office in Nairobi, Kenya, officially launched.
It was observed that Zoho is witnessing an uptick due to its investments in go-to-market services, new products, platform extensibility, privacy and security to improve the customer experience and enable success.
The Country Manager for Zoho Nigeria, Mr Kehinde Ogundare, said, “With our strong DNA as a technology platform company, we have been able to steadily improve our maturity and readiness for large organisations by investing in adjacent areas.”
“Our humble roots in SMB have helped us systematically build powerful software with strong everyday usability.
“Across our products, extensibility, usability, packaging, and go-to-market approach, Zoho aims to be the simplest enterprise software vendor in the market,” he added.
Speaking further, he said, “Today’s announcement serves as a testament to that goal, helping our customers adopt more of our software, add new capabilities, extend our platform to suit their granular workflows and get ready for the future.
“Whether customers buy our software for one department or the entire organisation, one workflow or a collection of customer journeys, the experience with Zoho will be far simpler than with any other large vendor.”
Zoho said it aims to expand EBS across skills, industry depth, and regional presence to help enterprise businesses manage their technology stack better in today’s economic climate. EBS provides expertise to large organisations across solutions engineering, account management, and customer success.
The platform accepts payment in over 15 currencies worldwide, facilitating global procurement efforts for enterprise organisations with regional operations through unified multi-currency invoicing.
Airtel Unveils ‘A Reason to Imagine’ Brand Campaign
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A new Africa-wide brand campaign focused on building a deeper emotional connection with young people, including Nigeria’s globally acclaimed productive generation, has been launched by Airtel Africa Plc.
The leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services disclosed that the campaign includes a new strapline for Airtel, A Reason to Imagine.
It is driven by the insight that in Africa, imagination is the only qualification that matters and showcases Airtel Africa’s role in harnessing this potential by delivering relevant solutions to consumers that enhance digital and financial inclusion.
The A Reason to Imagine campaign highlights the status of Airtel as an enabler of young people’s dreams and ambitions, whatever these might be. To this end, the campaign seeks to celebrate the energy, creativity, and innovation of Nigerian youth.
“Africa’s young people are now, more than ever, owning their passions boldly, chasing their dreams with all their heart, and living on their terms. At Airtel, we see this growth as a beautiful thing.
“Our new brand purpose represents our commitment to the future. It is about youth, about excitement, about fun, and most of all, about imagination,” the chief executive of Airtel Nigeria, Mr Carl Cruz, noted.
On his part, the Group Chief Commercial Officer of Airtel Africa, Mr Anthony Shiner, said, “It’s a well-understood fact that youth are central to achieving Africa’s potential.
“More than 60 per cent of Africa’s population is under 25, and empowering this new generation is transformative for the continent’s future.
“Through this campaign, we are reaffirming Airtel Africa’s commitment to advancing the progress of Africa’s young people by providing the connectivity to turn every situation into an opportunity.”
The Reason to Imagine brand campaign is Airtel Africa’s most ambitious yet. It comprises a series of television commercials and a combination of market-specific print, online, outdoor, and mobile creative executions.
The current title sponsorship of The Voice Africa is an example of how Airtel Africa is giving the youth a reason to imagine by partnering with The Voice to bring the show to the continent.
The Voice Africa showcases exceptional African musical talent in a show featuring a high-profile panel of coaches and TV hosts.
One of the 100 selected talents will eventually be crowned ‘The Voice Africa’ in a live show on free-to-air TV stations across the continent and Airtel TV. This is one of the initiatives that Airtel Africa has invested in to promote youthful talents and expertise in the education, sports, and innovation sectors.
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