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Q&A With Lanre Oyedotun CEO Nigeria’s Delivery Science

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canvasDelivery Science is a business formed to make it easier for businesses to manage delivery of their goods and services. The team is concerned with using data science and technology to ease the optimization of delivery of goods and services. Delivery and Science together, hence why the name Delivery Science.

TechMoran caught up with Lanre Oyedetun, CEO Delivery Science and this is what Delivery Science is all about.

Who are the founders and what inspired them?
The founders are myself, Lanre Oyedotun, and Chuka Ofili.
I ran a distribution business (petroleum products tanker distribution) which unfortunately I ran into the ground. I had major problems with driver trust, visibility into deliveries, and information to better optimize what I was doing.
Those issues served as the motivator to put together this kind of service. We also had numerous interviews with potential customers who validated the pain point we had identified.

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Chuka is a technology veteran who has built numerous web-scale solutions (individually and as team lead/architect), and was on the lookout for an interesting business/idea he could apply his significant expertise to building out the technology, team, and product roadmap. We had worked together on other client engagements in the past and developed a mutual appreciation for each other’s talents, so when I pitched him on the idea of Delivery Science, he was all for it.

We also have two other extremely accomplished members of the kitchen cabinet.

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Ezra Olubi who is a former CTO of Jobberman.com, West Africa’s largest jobs site and widely acclaimed as a top-5 developer in Nigeria.

Toyin Oshinowo, Ph.D who is a Comp Sci Ph.D leading our efforts in data science and growth. She has led online infrastructure for GTB (widely acclaimed as Nigeria’s leading bank).

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What inspired you launch it?  Why delivery Science?
Delivery confirmation automation is still a black hole for information in Nigeria (and the rest of Africa as far as we have learned), especially because we have a lot of “3rd world” problems “1st world” solutions don’t come close to solving. We believe a talented tech team, made up of veterans who are on their second or third go at building a startup in the Nigeria market, will be able to practicalize the lessons learned previously to build a genuine world-class technology business. We are all developers, and carry a developer ethos into all our dealings.

How many markets are you targeting? How many clients so far?
We are currently targeting Nigeria, but have plans to expand quickly across the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa within the next 6 months. Our offering is enterprise-focused, hence it’s not usually about number of clients, but rather number of users within those clients, as our typical client has upwards of 500 users.
We currently have 5 clients, with approximately another 40 in our pipeline.

What’s your business model?
Our business model is mostly SaaS. We charge a flat fee of $120 per field user per month for use of our automated proof-of-delivery, intelligent transportation management, and inventory management applications. There are further additions and customizations for enterprise clients, as no two processes are the same.
We underwrite 100% of the hardware costs, and include the hardware, device management, and data subscription as part of our offering which gives extreme visibility on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to enterprises.

Who’s your competition at the moment?
There are substitute offerings – tracking services, Excel, a company called Nerve Data in SA that does smart device business optimization but don’t have a focus on consumer goods deliveries like we do.
There’s no one offering that same level of end-to-end solving of the delivery management problem that we do.

What’s your value equation compared from your competitors?
We provide a comprehensive solution integrated fully into client ERP’s (SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics) that solves the pain point of having the information and insight needed to plan a consumer goods company’s order-to-cash and order-to-sales process.
We take what is a lot of moving parts and complexity, and abstract away all of that. Other competitors offer tools that the enterprise can purchase, but either can’t or don’t offer the level of integration we do.
As discerning companies know, those integrations into how the company does business are usually the key difference between implementation success and failure.

What are your future plans?
Take the Nigeria market and within the next 6 months have established a beachhead in other major sub-Saharan markets.
After which, we will look at expanding into North Africa and the Middle East.

Do you think Africa is ripe for e-commerce yet?
Africa is ripe for ecommerce, but needs to be localized to the nature of the market.
There won’t be the penetration level of say a USA in the next 5 years, but the opportunity still remains.

Apart from logistics what else does Delivery Science do?
Delivery Science doesn’t do logistics. We do logistics management – for consumer goods companies. This includes ecommerce players, fast-moving consumer goods companies, telecoms companies, and petroleum products marketing companies (gas station chains) at the enterprise level.

What are the biggest challenges to e-commerce in your country?

Trust.
Finding a compromise solution to cash-on-delivery (solutions can be built on Delivery Science’s platform for this – we’re currently working with a startup here in Lagos, on a proof-of-concept product for this).
Logistics/Delivery Management at-scale (Delivery Science solves this)
Understanding local peculiarities (e.g. setting up “fitting shops” a la Bonobos or Warby Parker in which people can come try things on before placing the online order.)

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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakobahttp://techmoran.com
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs  TechMoran.com, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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