Sendbox, a Nigerian peer-to-peer delivery platform for social commerce has secured $1.8m in a seed funding round to scale operations.
The round was led by 4DX Ventures, Enza Capital, FJLabs, and Golden Palm Investments with participation from Flexport and Y Combinator. The startup secured a $125k investment from Y Combinator and an undisclosed amount from Microtraction thereby bringing its total amount of investment to about $2m.
Sendbox was founded in 2016 by Emotu Balogun and Olusegun Afolahan. The startup operates in the logistics space and helps individuals and businesses to deliver goods within Nigeria and to international locations.
Fully launched in 2018, the company has reached over 10,000 merchants through its technology. The startup also claims to have made more than 200,000 deliveries since inception, 35%-40% of which are international.
Speaking on the investment, 4DXVentures co-founder and general partner, Walter Baddoo explained that Sendbox was chosen because of their growth and the solution they were providing to the logistics industry.
“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% 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.” Walter Baddoo, the co-founder and general partner at 4DX Ventures
Logistics for social commerce
Getting adequate logistics services has proven to be very daunting for merchants and individuals running microbusinesses. However, Sendbox says it wants to help these businesses fulfil their e-commerce duties.
“Sendbox wants to help small e-commerce merchants who sell directly to customers through their own online and offline channels with fulfilment,” CEO, Emotu Balogun said.
The startup offers next day delivery for orders within Lagos, three to five days for nationwide deliveries and five to seven days for international deliveries.
Sendbox makes local deliveries within Nigeria and international deliveries to over 200 countries.
Pickup and delivery requests can be placed by either the seller or the customer, while bill payments and escrow services are available for businesses. Through its agents and franchise sellers, the startup also helps businesses make more sales through more channels.
The African courier delivery industry is estimated to be between $250 — $300 billion in market size and Sendbox is just one of the many tapping into this space.
The goal of the startup is the same- to help SME’s conveniently transact their business.
With this new investment, the startup hopes to expand its product capabilities to include financing and payments. In addition, there will be an expansion to other African countries and the hiring of new talents to achieve these goals.