A key driver for us is our capacity to integrate seamlessly with our customers’ IT and e-commerce systems – Founder/CEO
NAIROBI, Kenya: Kwik Delivery (Kwik.Delivery), trading name of Africa Delivery Technologies SAS, recently announced that its Gross Merchandise Value and Revenue for 2021 grew by over 400% year-on-year and platform also reached 100,000 business-to-business users in just under three years of active operation.
The rapid growth trajectory has positioned Kwik Delivery to becoming Nigeria’s fastest and most integrated business-to-business delivery platform, aiming to become a key participant in the structuration, facilitation, and growth of e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Smart Africa Media Founder and Managing Editor Elvis Mboya asked Kwik Delivery Founder and CEO Romain Poirot-Lellig about his rapid entrepreneurship journey in Nigeria even in the face of the pandemic, what it really takes to build a successful e-commerce business in the continent and his next frontier.
Congratulations on your achievement! What’s your key to success even in the face of the pandemic?
Romain: Thank you! I would say that it has been our capacity to empower riders that have chosen to sign up on our platform and to channel this energy into a quality service for our merchants.
During the announcement, you said, “2021 has seen explosive growth of our delivery service as merchants and businesses have shifted more and more of their distribution structures toward e-commerce platforms.” Would it be safe to say that the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise to your company since it has pushed millions of Nigerians into digital space – accelerating e-commerce uptake?
Romain: The pandemic has been and still is a tragedy for millions of people around the world. But clearly, it induced an acceleration of the development of e-commerce, in particular in Africa, and a rethinking of supply chains which is benefiting to software service providers such as Kwik.
Having launched your services in June 2019 and opened to Business-to-Business customers in Lagos, Nigeria, your firm has since rapidly expanded both in terms of customer base and services. Please take us back through your journey to date.
Romain: We started the company in France in 2018 before I moved to Nigeria to plan our launch. We operated from an AirBnB located in the 1004 residence in Victoria Island.
When the App was launched, we kept staring at the dashboard waiting for orders and counting them one by one! We had only a couple of riders that we convinced to join the platform.
As you may know, we are just a software service provider, we do not own any vehicles or anything, and we are fully asset-light.
So, as I was raising funds, most people in Nigeria told me I was crazy, that buying bikes and leasing them was the only way to go.
Today, we have thousands of riders signed up on the platform and 100,000 merchants and businesses depending on them for their last-mile deliveries.
So, I would say that everyone has to do his thing his own way. Kwik’s way is to empower merchants and logistics providers through software.
Aside from tapping Nigeria’s market base – Africa’s largest business to consumer e-commerce market, both in terms of the number of shoppers and revenue, please share with us other key drivers to such explosive growth in just under three years of existence?
Romain: A key driver for us is our capacity to integrate seamlessly with our customers’ IT and e-commerce systems.
This is how you create efficiency. Another is to define clearly the rules of the game for users of our platform and to stick to them.
Last year, Kwik Delivery was recognised as the ‘Most Innovative Logistics Company of the Year’. What does this recognition mean to you and your team?
Romain: It’s a wonderful accolade for a young company! We have an incredible team of talented people, and I know that this award is a strong incentive to do better for the coming year.
Entrepreneurship in Africa has its share of bottlenecks. What have been your low moments and how have you overcome them?
Romain: Fundraising is still a bottleneck. Convincing international investors to invest in Africa still takes some doing.
Convincing African investors that, as a foreigner, you are committed to their country’s success, can also require some power of conviction.
What’s next for Kwik Delivery and by extension Africa Delivery Technologies SAS to deliver services to Nigerians and the continent at large?
Romain: We will launch a number of new features within the Kwik app, such as KwikStore.
It’s a tool enabling merchants to start and operate an online store within the Kwik app and it will come fully integrated with our delivery platform.
We will also launch in a number of new cities within and outside of Nigeria.
More information can be found at www.Kwik.Delivery.
Lead photo: [L-R] Kwik Delivery Founder and CEO Romain Poirot-Lellig and Kwik Delivery Brand Ambassador and Nigeria’s football legend Jay Jay Okocha.