Taz Technologies Inc, the firm behind MPOST, a virtual postbox startup has concluded its pre-Series A first round of funding from Cape Town based VC, HAVAÍC.
The details of the deal were not disclosed but MPOST has commenced its Series A equity fundraise, targeting a minimum of US$2 million. MPOST already has serious interest and commitments from various international investors.
According to CEO Aziz Omar: “We are excited that Havaic is investing in MPost. As a seasoned investment and advisory firm, Havaic will undoubtedly bolster MPost’s growth and impact in the region. This is a vote of confidence in our product and indeed our vision as a company”.
Founded in 2016 by Kenyan founders Abdulaziz (Aziz) Omar and Twahir Mohamed, MPost is an innovative, simple and affordable solution that utilizes consumers’ mobile phone numbers to create internationally accepted postal addresses, virtual Post Office (PO) boxes and generate real time cell phone notifications for its customers.
The solution arose when Aziz missed out on a lucrative job as his successful offer letter was posted to his family’s PO Box in Mombasa – 500km’s from where he was staying in Nairobi – and no family member was in Mombasa at that time to check the PO Box, so the offer lapsed.
Due to the shortage of PO Boxes in Kenya, shared family and community boxes are common place, and are often passed on through generations. Investigating further, Aziz found there are only 440 000 physical PO boxes in Kenya to serve a population of nearly 50 million. Thus, with street address postal services non-existent, less than 1% of Kenyans had access to an individual official postal address.
MPost has since been registered with ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation), received a global (international) patent and been ratified and recommended by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a specialized agency of the United Nations that coordinates postal policies and the worldwide postal system.
Now live in Kenya with a partnership from Kenya’s postal services provider Posta, MPost is set to launch Uganda then expand to COMESA countries to address a potential target market of 150-200 million customers. It’s international patent and UPU approval are on course.
Recently MPOST pitched at the Startup World Cup in San Franciso and is Startupbootcamp Africa (SBC Africa) alumnus. It’s at SBC Africa that MPOST met with HAVAÍC.
With the investment, MPOST will welcome SBC Africa co-founder Zachariah George onto the Board to represent SBC Africa and HAVAÍC.
”This partnership with Startupbootcamp, HAVAÍC and MPOST will enable us to enhance the efficiency and user experience of the product, and improve the long term benefits to our clients and stakeholders,” says CTO Twahir Mohamed
HAVAÍC’s Rob Heath, the partner responsible for pan-African and international business comments: “After spending time with Aziz and Twahir in Nairobi and seeing the solution in action, it’s clear that this is not just a technology and commercial product. MPOST makes a real impact on people’s daily lives and as an investor, it’s rewarding when we can tie these two elements together. That being said, this is a great example of African problems producing global solutions – one of the cornerstones of our investment thesis at HAVAÍC.”
HAVAÍC has secured the rights to advance a significant share of this round.