SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa based delivery-as-a-service platform, Orderin, has garnered R70 million (US$4.6m) in a recently closed pre-series B funding round, which will allow the business to scale up its infrastructure and enhance last mile delivery.
Orderin, founded nine years ago, says the money raised in this latest round of funding brings the total investment to R303 million (US$303m), having clinched R6.5 million (US$430,000) in pre-seed funding, R38.5 million (US$2.55m) in seed funding and R285 million (US$18.8m) in operational capital between 2018 and October 2021.
This supplements the delivery network’s biggest round of funding which raised R102 million (US$6.75m) in 2020.
Orderin, which currently provides delivery services for the likes of McDonalds and Pick n Pay, one of South Africa’s largest supermarket chains, will utilize the funding to scale its proprietary DaaS technology with its current client base in the short term.
Also, it seeks to launch DaaS for SMMEs in the medium term, and establish a flywheel for its long-term goal of providing a platform for all types of business to get access to a variety of affordable eLogistics services to keep them competitive and help grow their businesses.
“E-commerce has been growing steadily over the last few years but the Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated this growth. Customer expectations have placed demand on businesses for easy, quick and sometimes even free delivery options.
“Driving the growth and development of infrastructure will not only improve last mile delivery and make it more accessible for businesses. This applies especially to SMMEs who can find it difficult to compete with larger enterprises on this point, but can also usher in a new future of e-commerce,” says CEO of Orderin, Thembani Biyam.
According to a recent report by World Wide Worx, South Africa’s online retail market has more than doubled in the two years defined by the Covid-19 pandemic.
E-commerce grew by 66% in 2020 with online sales reaching R30.2 billion (US$2 billion) and projected to top R40 billion (US$2.65m) in 2021.
Biyam notes that emerging technologies are playing a huge role in enabling businesses to meet this high consumer demand when it comes to last mile delivery.
“Businesses often have to deal with costly and inefficient last mile delivery due to challenges such as unpredictable timelines, the need to make multiple stops with only a small number of parcels being dropped off at each destination, congested traffic and more” says Orderin Head of Finance, Vulnavia Gura.
Digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and data science can improve last mile delivery by finding the best routes to take to avoid traffic, the most efficient use of fuel, or even better predict demand and labour requirements.
These technologies play a crucial role in enabling dynamic predictive models which permit customers to circumvent these challenges at the speed needed for successful delivery.
However, it is costly. But the company notes that the funding raises will allow it to scale its talent, tech and offering.
Orderin seeks to grow its headcount to 200 and expand the delivery platform and delivery partners to 3000 from the current 120 employees and delivery opportunities for a further 2000 people.
“We are moving quickly to mature our operational and governance models — our investors demand it and our stakeholders expect it.
“We believe that as a young company entrusted with investors’ funds we should create a reputation for prudence. This will engender confidence in future funders,” says Gura.
Orderin founded in 2012, launched its online food ordering platform in 2013. In 2015, it launched its on-demand fast food delivery app, becoming the first in South Africa to offer this service.
However, in 2020 it officially shut down its consumer business to make a comeback in 2021 as a B2B DaaS business.