Nairobi-based logistics marketplace Bwala Africa Group has secured Sh24 million debt financing from CFC Stanbic Bank and introduced BwalaPay to “meet the rising demand for last mile e-commerce connectivity and safety.”
The logistics firm will use the debt financing to roll out eight new trucks from ISUZU East Africa where four trucks will be financed by CFC Stanbic while the rest will be funded by Bwala internally.
Kennedy Nyabwala, Bwala Africa Group founder and chief executive said: “We have landed three major partnerships with Kenya’s top retail stores to power their last mile deliveries. The partners include Copia, Naivas, and Jumia which are by far the biggest retail and e-commerce brands in Kenya.”
“We are also doing collections, through BwalaPay, our escrow system. We have so far collected over Sh7 Million for our various last mile customers. BwalaPay allows customers to pay on delivery and the seller on the other will either get cash when the item is sold / return of the package, if not sold. This has solved a big pain on online fraud,” he added.
The logistics marketplace launched early this year to address the problems fleet owners face each day. The marketplace provides a platform where users “hire cars, trucks and delivery vans and source for repairs, service and maintenance, and link them up to trusted mechanics and genuine spare part dealers straight from the comfort of their homes and offices.” The company also offers escrow payment services.
So far, the company has made more than 6,000 deliveries in Nairobi. “We have managed to cover most parts of Nairobi and are expanding across counties in Kenya. We started with trucks but quickly realized that motorbike deliveries were in high demand due to their speed and efficiency. We, therefore, integrated them,” stated Nyabwala.
BwalaPay and Upcoming Plans
BwalaPay will be extended to classifieds and other online business entities to increase customer trust when making payments.
“Bwala Africa is also working on crowdsourcing logistics service providers to fleet owners and connect them to auto garages and mechanics around the country,” the chief executive said.
The company is working on a 12,000sqm warehouse “to consolidate the orders for various retail needs to ease delivery and last mile order fulfilments.”
Other future plans include expanding to Uganda, Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines.
The company is also “working on its on-demand last mile retail logistics section for its B2B and B2C customers in e-commerce and distribution and tightening its return trips to ensure trucks do not come back empty.”