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SA logistics startup Pargo selected to join Alibaba, Unctad training initiative

South African logistics startup Pargo has been selected as the first South African delegate to join an Alibaba and UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) hosted initiative the eFounders Initiative Entrepreneurship Training Programme, in the city of Hangzhou, China.

The announcement was made today in a press release by Pargo. The programme — which takes place from this Friday (10 November) and runs until 24 November)  includes a two-week course at the Alibaba Business School and will take the 25 high-potential entrepreneurs from across Africa to learn from e-commerce giants Alibaba, Taobao.com and Tmall.com.

Pargo co-founder and director Lars Veul said it is “a privilege” to be selected as the first SA company for the programme.

“The ecommerce ecosystem in South Africa has seen significant growth over the last years, although last mile logistics remain one of the key challenges that we are solving, there are still many more challenges we need to deal with collectively,” he said.

He added that to be recognised by an industry leader like Alibaba and participate in the programme is expected to have a major impact on Pargo, and open opportunities for the startup to enable more international partners to access South Africa and other emerging economies.

Although last mile logistics remain one of the key challenges that we are solving, there are still many more challenges we need to deal with, says Pargo co-founder

The startup, founded in 2015 by Veul and Derk Hoekert in 2015, allows customers to send and receive parcels at designated points around SA, which are situated in retail stores.

In March the startup announced that it has secured an R15-million funding round led by SAAD Investment Holdings, along with Beijing-based VC firm, Tsing Capital, and co-founder of Pay-U, Johan Dekker.

Read more: Pargo secures over R15m investment, adds new board member

Featured image Pargo founders Lars Veul (left) and Derk Hoekert (right) (Supplied)