South African parcel shipping platform, TUNL, has successfully raised $1 million in pre-seed funding from investors like Founders Factory Africa, Digital Africa Ventures, E4E Africa, and Jozi Angels.
This funding will fuel TUNL’s expansion in South Africa and its entry into other African and emerging markets.
Founded in 2022 by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Matthew Davey and Chief Operations Officer (COO), Craig Lowman, TUNL aims to address the issue of high international shipping costs for e-commerce merchants, particularly impacting smaller businesses in emerging markets like South Africa.
The cross-border shipping challenges in Africa result in an estimated annual loss of $50 billion for businesses.
“TUNL plans to tackle this by forming partnerships with courier services like UPS and FedEx, securing favourable rates, and subsidizing shipping costs for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by 50% to 75%.”
The platform has experienced significant growth, with a 35% month-on-month increase, boasting over 700 merchants and shipping over 8,000 international parcels in 2023, representing exports from South Africa worth R19.5 million ($1067113.32).
TUNL’s transparent pricing model allows merchants to offer various shipping options to customers, including an “economy” option with shipping costs incorporated into the product price and faster options with FedEx or UPS at reasonable costs.
The platform generates revenue by taking margins on orders and plans to use the seed funding to enhance sales, improve the onboarding process for new merchants, and focus on a more self-service approach to enhance the overall user experience.