By Mark Kawalya
Smatbeba is a Kenyan startup that offers a link between cargo owners and delivery drivers using a mobile application. The firm’s operations have been focused on the Nairobi area, but the company has been working to expand its footprint across every part of the country.
Smatbeba was founded in July 2018 and launched formally in March 2019, the firm enables clients to enter their cargo details, request for quotations, arrange pickups, make payments and receive receipts using its mobile application and/or website.
The firm’s co-founder and lead technology officer, Emily Mogeni said Smatbeba was created to work around some of the issues plaguing the logistics industry such as damaged goods, delayed deliveries, unreliable drivers and prohibitively high costs for cargo transportation.
Although the startup has competitors, Emily believes they have an advantage due to the wide scope of the services they offer.
“We have an advantage because we offer all types of delivery services, from small goods to large cargo, many vehicle sizes and any distance within Kenya,” she said.
Digitalizing their operations too has given them an edge over the competition because potential clients can prospect and order their services using their devices bringing a level of convenience that traditional players in the logistics industry cannot accord potential clients.
The firm’s versatility is unmatched. For one client, Smartbeba will deploy a motorbike to deliver that bouquet of fresh roses to a client’s loved one, before switching gears and sending an 18-wheeler to haul a large-scale farmers’ maize harvest from one district to a buyer in another.
Some of the firm’s clients include the Mzuri sweets, Maduka, Sky Garden and the former supermarket giant Tusky’s with the firm making more than 600 deliveries.
“Being relatively new in the market has its challenges, such as resistance to change from our potential customers, and lack of resources, especially human capital and finances, but our goal is to walk one stride at a time. The future looks good, especially after we onboarded our first corporate client Mzuri Sweets within a few months of starting operations, which gave us the opportunity to do all their deliveries within the country,” Emily adds.
The firm outsources its trucking needs to truck owners who are willing to hire out the vehicles, creating an ecosystem of ordinary Kenyans that directly benefit from the firm’s operations.