With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic that ushered in an unprecedented period of lockdown, the global delivery took a new turn as more innovations came to the limelight that saw the delivery of items to individuals across the world, especially in Africa.
We took our case study to Cairo, Egypt to see the state of the country’s delivery ecosystem where we caught up with Mohamed Ghaith, Founder and CEO of Zeew, a delivery startup.
The startup’s operating in the model of System/Software as a Service (SaaS) company brands itself as the “Uber for packages” as it offers on-demand shipping through a smartphone app.
The platform allows its users to leverage their own vehicle in moving goods within their city which includes deliveries from businesses to clients (B2C) and clients to clients (C2C).
Leveraging technology, the startup offers its users options of delivering what they want and when they require it.
A quick background
According to Mohammed, Zeew was started in November 2017 as a B2B on-demand last-mile delivery company for small businesses, focusing on flower shops, cosmetic shops and bookstores.
The startup is also based in Estonia and as of January 2018, it became one of Europe’s pioneer startups to offer on-demand delivery technology built on Ethereum blockchain. By March 2018, the startup has added more than 2,000 investors to its platform.
“After that, we realized the demand for food delivery so we focused on last-mile delivery for restaurants soon after we decided to become aggregator ourselves and launched our own food delivery marketplace.”
Mohamed explained further that the startup had to pivot by the end of 2019 due to high competition.
“We had built a great technology out of our needs and we decided to offer it to the public as a one-time payment at the beginning but soon we realized how hard it was to maintain many clients on the separate codebase and we moved to SaaS and since then we have grown to 70+ countries as of today.”
This development has made the Cairo-based startup a leading on-demand delivery technology to many companies across the globe.
Some of its product include:
- Food delivery script
- Grocery delivery script
- Pharmacy delivery script
- Single Store script
- All in one delivery
In January this year, Zeew raised a six-figure seed funding round from an angel investor based in Estonia and according to the founder, the funds will be mainly used in hiring more sales and onboarding teams, as well as improving Zeew’s product stability and features.
Overview of delivery and shipping in North Africa
The founder explained that North Africa and especially Egypt is a huge market, with a lot of localization challenges, stating further that foreign companies haven’t recorded the same success as local ones.
According to him, there is a growing trend in food delivery in Egypt while on the other hand, there is a likewise growth in medicine delivery in other African countries like Mozambique, Ghana and others.
“And with the pandemic and the change in consumer behaviour, right now people are much more willing to buy online and receive their purchase at the comfort of their own homes, it also gave more responsibility to businesses to sell better products, now clients can navigate online as many stores as they want and decide which to buy from.”, Mohamed added
The pandemic effect on on-demand delivery
Mohamed said that COVID-19 forced businesses to move their offline sales to online, as well it removed the barrier for many consumers to be comfortable with buying online.
“As for Zeew we had to study consumer behaviour to make better products. Right now many businesses use our systems in 70+ countries and each country has different consumer behaviour, different payment methods, or even different features/commissions.”
on what Zeew is different from its competitors, Mohamed mentioned a keyword, “Automation”,
“This is our core DNA, our systems are scalable because everything is automated. Any business owner can go to our website and sign up.
They will find his store created alone with a Dispatcher system to manage all his deliveries.”
According to the founder, most of Zeew’s competitors give only the ordering system but not a dispatcher to actually manage the delivery afterward.
Thus Zeew offers its customers the platform to manage all their business from a single admin dashboard.
Concluding the founder told us that the Cairo-based startup has recently published a reseller program that allows any entrepreneur to start their own business by reselling the startup’s automated systems under their own domain and own brand, even set their own reseller prices. It only takes 1 day to launch it.
Featured Image: Mohamed Ghaith, Founder and CEO of Zeew
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