Bwala Africa Group, a Kenyan last mile logistics platform launched in January in Nairobi has raised Ksh 23,000,000 ($230,000) in debt financing from South African-based bank CFC Stanbic to meet the rising demand for last mile fleet connectivity.
With the funding, the firm is rolling out 8 new trucks from ISUZU East Africa, four directly funded by CFC and the other 4 funded internally by Bwala Group which has recorded over 6000 + deliveries in Nairobi.
“We have landed 3 major partnerships with Kenya’s top retail stores to power their last mile deliveries. The partners include Copia, Naivas and Jumia which are by far the biggest retail and ecommerce brands in Kenya,” said Kennedy Nyabwala, Bwala Africa Group founder and CEO.
“We are also doing collections, through BwalaPay, our escrow system. We have so far collected over Ksh 7 Million for our various last mile customers. BwalaPay allows customers to pay on delivery and the seller on the other will either get cash when the item is sold / return of the package, if not sold. This has solved a big pain on online fraud.”
BwalaPay service will be extended to classifieds and other online business entities who are dealing with skeptical customers who are not sure if they will lose money through online fraud.
“Bwala Africa is also working on crowdsourcing logistics service providers to fleet owners and connect them to auto garages and mechanics around the country.
The firm is also working on its on-demand last mile retail logistics section for its B2B and B2C customers in e-commerce and distribution. The firm says BwalaPay is the first such escrow payment service in the sector.
Bwala Africa is currently working on a 12,000 sqm warehouse to consolidate the orders for various retail needs to ease delivery and last mile order fulfilments. The firm also planning to expand into Uganda, Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe and South Africa as well as in Asia , Bangladesh, India and Philippines.
Launched in Nairobi nine months ago, Bwala Africa is tightening its return trips to ensure trucks don’t come back empty. The firm is working closely with distributors, retailers and manufacturers across the country to ensure more returns to its truckers.