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Karooooo acquires Picup in big e-commerce play.

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Karooooo, a global software company, has acquired  R70 million (US$5 million) for a controlling stake in Picup, an on-demand delivery platform for documents, packages, parcels, and incidentals.

Karooooo, which owns South African vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions company Cartrack and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, now owns 70.1 % of the start-up.

Picup, according to the company, has strong growth prospects due to the rapid growth of e-commerce transactions and the demand to digitize logistics.

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Enterprises and transporters can use the Picup platform to plan and allocate their loads, as well as access real-time tracking and proof of delivery, as well as automated payments.

The start-up makes over 200,000 deliveries per month and works with blue-chip  companies like Dis-Chem and Pick n Pay.

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As of July 31, 2021, Picup’s annualized growth revenue run rate was R79 million (US$5.6 million), a 130% increase over March 2020, according to Karooooo.

“As e-commerce booms, retailers and wholesalers require more efficient, flexible and cost-effective ways to optimise delivery capacity using a cloud solution. Picup facilitates an elastic fleet of third-party delivery drivers to handle overflow volumes, allowing clients to plan optimally, without having to factor surge periods into their base operating capacity.” says Karooooo.

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Picup, according to the Singaporebased firm, simplifies transportation operations and helps mitigate logistics risks, particularly in terms of meeting tight delivery deadlines.

According to Zak Calisto, CEO and Founder of Karooooo and Cartrack, “this transaction supports Cartrack and Picup’s growth aspirations as the demand for last-mile delivery escalates at a rapid rate.”

“As we think beyond connected vehicles, it is imperative that our cloud platform is a comprehensive mobility solution that addresses the needs of both our existing and future enterprise customers. E-commerce transactions across the globe are increasing dramatically and we need to ensure we are well-positioned to assist our enterprise customers in fully digitalizing the mobility aspects of their businesses. Picup helps enterprises scale their operations without having to unnecessarily invest in additional assets,” says Calisto.

“Our customers that use the Cartrack Delivery functionality on our platform will soon be able to have a one-stop cloud platform to manage their fleets, with the option of using crowd-sourced drivers when faced with unplanned demand,” he adds.

Antonio Bruni, founder and CEO of Picup, and his management team will remain invested, with a 29.9% interest in the start-up, while Karooooo has the option to increase its shareholding to 83.5%.

“Picup’s committed management team is excited about scaling Picup with Karooooo, which has a proven track record of scaling a business with prudent financial discipline,” says Bruni.

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Weddy Thuranira
Weddy Thuranira
Weddy profiles new startups and innovators across Africa and announces funding rounds, mergers, acquisitions and startup partnerships across Africa. She is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Reach her and the entire news desk at [email protected]

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