, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 4 – Safaricom has invested in a Nairobi-based package delivery start-up, Sendy making it the first part recipient of Safaricom’s Sh101 million Spark Fund.
Sendy offers a marketplace for last-mile package delivery and logistics services, allowing customers to send packages and documents within Nairobi and its environs using a mobile application that connects them to motorcycle riders, and drivers of vans and pickup trucks.
Launched just one year ago, Sendy focuses on providing convenience, competitive pricing, speed and excellent customer service, allowing individual customers and businesses to track the movement and location of their packages in real time using their app and web platform.
“We are very pleased to be investing in Sendy, a business with a young, vibrant, innovative and ambitious team. Through Sendy we believe we are investing in more than just a start-up; we’re investing in a business that will transform the lives of everyone it touches, from the customer, to the boda-boda operator to the techie building and maintain the platform,” said Joe Ogutu, Director for Strategy and Innovation, Safaricom.
The amount of the deal is yet to be revealed.
In addition to Safaricom’s investment, Sendy will also have access to strategic partnerships, network elements, and a mix of marketing opportunities that will help it expand.
Since launching Spark Fund in November last year, Safaricom has received over 400 applications.
The evaluation process to identify potential start-ups who will benefit from the venture fund is still ongoing, with each successful start-up expected to receive between Sh6 million and Sh22 million.
“Having Safaricom believe in us enough to come on board as an investor is a big boost to our business. We intend to use the funds received to invest in our infrastructure, improve our platform, roll out new features and services and grow our team so that we can provide an even better customer experience,” said Meshack Alloys, Sendy CEO.
Rather than offering grants, the Safaricom Spark Fund invests in start-ups by purchasing minority equity stake or providing convertible debt, allowing young businesses to access the finances needed to grow their businesses beyond their start-up phase.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Safaricom not only on the investment side, but also on the technical side. We’ve been using M-PESA as our main payment collection method since we launched Sendy and we’re pleased to announce that next week we’ll be releasing a new seamless payment checkout process that will work directly through Safaricom’s newly released M-PESA API,” Alloys added.