So far, 2020 has been another year during which eCommerce has experienced a huge boom on a global scale. Consequently, the need for logistics/delivery services has grown since these two are mutually dependent.
This means that existing companies will either upgrade or pivot their services while new firms emerge. Regardless of the current situation, Nigeria’s logistics marketplace is still largely unexploited.
But then, the idea for WAeY Hailing was conceived long before the current economic disruption.
Sometime in 2019, Mobolaji Akintokunbo, WAeY Hailing founder, was at the receiving end of delayed food delivery. He suspected that this disappointment could only have resulted from the restaurant’s lack of access to a go-to logistics service.
“WAeY Hailing platform allows users to search for delivery men within the pickup location, request delivery service, track their order, and get it delivered within a short period. Users no longer have to wait days to receive their order when they can just request an immediate delivery service through the WAeY app and even have the option of changing order destination mid-trip,” he says.
However, his approach to achieving this involved partnering with an existing logistics company, HOR Logistics, to arrive at an inventory-model logistics type.
“With our combined unique skill sets — understanding of technology, and experience in delivering invaluable solutions locally, we have partnered to ensure that we deliver a quick, reliable, and efficient delivery solution through our on-demand delivery app, WAeY Hailing,” he explains.
Akintokunbo believes this is a perfect fit.
While the startup leverages his experience leading WAeY Technologies for more than 15 years — running different businesses in software development, risk management, project management, and cybersecurity solutions — it also enjoys the expertise of Moradeyo Wola-Oyesoro — founder of HOR logistics — in different value chains of logistics.
Simply put, HOR Logistics takes charge of operations and fleet management while WAeY Technologies is responsible for technological backup.
The entrepreneur explains how the focus is to use technology to enhance an existing opportunity to avoid delivery delays, even though it isn’t a new innovation.
WAeY Hailing’s fun facts
WAeY’s mode of operation is a combination of the regular dispatch service and ride-hailing concept.
When a customer requests for a rider through the mobile application, the algorithm schedules pickups and activates delivery depending on the type of services demanded.
“There are two available services. The app allows you to either book the entire delivery box or share the box with other people without losing the on-demand experience. All of these are offered at competitive rates.
“If you want to get a package across to a location, you can request the rider to pick it up and go immediately, or share the box by requesting that the rider can pickup any other packages within a one-mile radius before or while heading to its destination.”
Even though this may result in possible variation in delivery time and fare — which is usually displayed on the app at the point of request — he assures that it wouldn’t lead to a delay in delivery.
Unlike waiting to get all the packages slated for a certain location ready before initiating a rider’s movement or the case of a rider returning with an empty box from a destination, as is the norm, WAeY’s system is geared towards inventory optimisation.
It is worthy of note that WAeY Hailing has different mobile applications for riders and users.
Apart from the app’s involvement in the first stage of onboarding riders, it also helps users to track their parcels from pickup to delivery.
Even while still operating a B2C model — with plans to include B2B in the coming months — a user can have up to six delivery requests running simultaneously on an account.
Riders are partners
Akintokunbo reveals that the startup’s goal is to have over a thousand dispatch riders in less than a year. Simultaneously, the team plans to achieve the feat of registering their presence in all Nigerian states within eight months.
Without disclosing the percentage of commission riders are eligible for, Akintokunbo boasts of offering a competitive and attractive enough package to gain the projected number of riders. He also considers rider onboarding to be a thorough process.
“Our riders are called partners and they bring their bikes. Before they are onboarded, they go through security checks, customer relations training, our proprietary human resource onboarding process, and a riding test.”
He adds that part of this security test in the app involves a level of KYC which is equivalent to that of a banking institution. According to him, onboarding takes a maximum of two weeks — between when a rider’s intent has been considered on the app and when they are eventually accepted.
Funding history and expansion plans
Currently, WAeY Hailing is still funded by the directors of WAeY Technologies, but the startup is still open to other partnerships and investments.
Despite this, Akintokunbo’s optimism for profitability and exceeding revenue target lies in the current high demand for logistics. In addition to this, he believes the partnership with HOR Logistics has removed the hurdle of market penetration. And this is supposed to make the introduction of B2B faster.
“We are confident that our partnership with HOR logistics will open us up to over a thousand captive audiences and users. We are also working on an enterprise version which will provide ease of use by medium-sized organisations and businesses that will require automation or multiple order options for their customers.”
Currently, with a team of five professionals heading technical and non-technical operations, customer service, business development, and PR, the startup is looking to build a stronger customer relations team.
Even though the services are only operational in Lagos, the startup plans to expand to Oyo state soon.
“We also have a current arrangement with the relevant associations in Oyo state and will kick off operations in the next couple of months. Our operations outside Lagos will involve both on-demand delivery and ride-hailing services.”
Although Akintokunbo clamours for more sustainable and favourable government policies, the founder claims to be in the process of fulfilling all policy requirements as it would not want non-compliance issues to affect its riders.
Given its hybrid model, Akintokunbo believes WAeY is a non-discriminatory platform — inclusive of all strata of the economy — and its success is incontestable since the country’s tech ecosystem allows innovation to thrive.
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