Established in 2018, Minute5 is an eCommerce startup that offers fresh farm produce from farmers and markets to end consumers. Along with his co-founder, Jonathan Paul Katumba realized that more Ugandans needed a grocery shopping experience that was both effortless and convenient.
“We initially started by selling passion fruits from my co-founder’s farm to people working in offices uptown,” Katumba said in a previous interview.
In 2019, the duo formed an online platform that allowed clients to make grocery orders that would be delivered to them quickly and affordably. The company experienced exponential growth with Minute5 having more than 500 registered clients that average weekly spending of US$20.
At the start, Minute5 built itself up from the ground without much external funding although they later took on some pre-seed capital from 97Fund and MTN.
“With these funds, we have been able to deliver to more than 1,000 customers and ensure that they are satisfied with good service. We have also started the process of opening our first retail outlet that will improve our sourcing and support more small food businesses,” said Katumba.
The firm has an intuitive mobile platform, that has enabled them to establish contactless payments which have been embraced by many of their clients due to the pandemic. This has made the service easy to use and has increased the number of sales boosting revenue for smallholder farmers and market vendors.
The firm has found success where many others struggled because they offer their clients convenience in a manner that is timely. Client purchases are dispatched via boda boda in 15 minutes after the order has been processed. Clientele numbers also increased during the lockdown as more people and more people turned towards online shopping.
“We were able to get a good number of customers to use our service and even remain our customers after that. We are more than certain that we have the highest retention rate for any e-commerce platform, and we plan to keep it this way such that we serve more customers and offer them convenience,” Katumba said.
Although Minute5 is currently active exclusively in Kampala, the firm plans to extend its services to other parts of the country. The firm sells its groceries with a margin of between 15 and 30 percent on each order which enables them to give their suppliers (smallholder farmers) better rates for their produce.