Sendy, a Kenyan on-demand package delivery startup, became the first beneficiary of Safaricom’s $1 million Spark fund that supports local mobile technology startups.
Launched barely a year ago, Sendy crowd sources GPS-tracked motorcycle riders in Nairobi and use them to help companies and individuals move packages from one part of the city to the other.
The startup, which has been christened “Uber for deliveries”, will be the first to recieve $220,000 from the Spark Fund.
“When we launched Sendy in September 2014 we had a vision of making package delivery as simple as sending a text message. We wanted to use technology do this, so we created an app that is easy to use, offers transparent pricing and supports cashless transactions,” Meshack Alloys, Sendy’s chief executive, said.
“Having Safaricom believe in us enough to come on board as an investor is a big boost to our business.”
Alloys said the funds will used to improve on its mobile platform and infrastructure, and grow the startups team to help it grow it customer base in the East African nation.
Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecoms operator with more than 65 percent market share — or 25 million subscribers — launched Spark Fund in November 2014 to invest in local innovative tech startups by acquiring minority equity stakes or convertible debt holdings.
The fund has received over 400 applications so far and will finance more startups once its evaluation team that consist fund managers find another suitable startups.
“We are very pleased to be investing in Sendy, a business with a young, vibrant, innovative and ambitious team,” Joe Ogutu, Safaricom’s Director for Strategy & Innovation, said.
“Through Sendy we believe we are investing in more than just a start-up; we’re investing in a business that will transform the lives of everyone it touches, from the customer, to the boda-boda operator to the techie building & maintain the platform.