Logistify AI is building a marketplace of warehouses in Africa to help businesses find flexible storage for their inventory.
Founded by brothers Daniel Emaasit and Tobias Tukei in July 2019 in Kampala, Uganda, Logistify AI aims to expand to Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda soon to help warehouse owners earn extra income from their vacant space.
“We grew up helping our parents manage our family warehouse and farm in rural Uganda,” said Emaasit. “For many years our parents have struggled to maintain constant income from the warehouse. Demand for storage is seasonal and the warehouse is underutilized.”
“Due to that,” the brothers added, “our parents decided to focus more on farming than warehousing but farming took a toll on their health and Mum had a stroke at the farm while Dad developed chronic back pain. So we want to solve this warehousing crisis.”
These became when Tobias became a professional logistics manager at DSV Global, he discovered that established businesses also had the same problem and this fueled their passion.
The startup is helping suppliers of essential items (e.g. food, soap, sanitizer, masks) to find flexible warehousing for their high demand inventory during this COVID 19 pandemic.
Suppliers get pay-as-you-go flexibility. No more unnecessary fixed & long-term leases, nor paying predatory deposit fees charged by old incumbents. Logistify AI also helps warehouse owners earn extra income from their vacant space caused by disruptions from the pandemic.
The startups customers are suppliers of essential items (e.g food, soap, sanitizer, masks) on the demand side while on the supply side their customers are warehouse owners or anybody with a vacant storage space like a garage, a shop, a depot, a residential house, etc.
Some of these customers include Aqua Fish (from Egypt) and SonFish (from Egypt) and Rafiki Property Services, Equator catering, East African Investments, Sarjan Property Agencies, BAT Jinja warehouses, Creston Business Park, amomg others.
Logistify AI says its competitive advantage is a flexible storage period as suppliers can book for a day, 2 days, a month, several months, or a year. Also, in addition to well-established warehouses, it also has other storage facilities like garages, shops, depots, residential houses, etc and customers book instantly according to their needs.
The firm also has a Shipping API that aggregates several last-mile delivery startups to provide transportation from the warehouse to the final customer. According to the brothers customers keep coming back due to the platform’s flexibility, low prices and easy invoicing and transparency.
The platform allows suppliers to get pay-as-you-go flexibility avoiding unnecessary fixed and long-term leases. Being on-demand, they only book and pay for the exact amount of space and storage period in the exact location that they need. No booking deposits and easy invoicing and payments via Mobile Money, Card or Bank Account via the App.
Though the firm charges a Shipper service fee of just 10% on the storage amount for every booking, suppliers are asking for more services such as transportation of their inventory from the warehouses to their final customers forcing them to build a fulfillment product that provides picking, packing and shipping.
“We’re building the first Operating System for Amazon-like warehousing and fulfillment in emerging markets,” said the brothers who are bootstrapping. One of the biggest challenges the startup has been facing is how t reach out to the many warehouse owners who are not online. Some are located deep in rural communities and don’t know how their problem can be solved.
The startup now has three full-time employees running the firm’s operations in Uganda with plans to expand to Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda soon.