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A new partnership between Yobante Express and MPost, two of Africa’s most innovative start-ups, enables door-to-door deliveries between locations across the continent at a fraction of the cost.
Ventureburn can confirm that Yobante Express, a Senegalese logistics start-up, has finalised a partnership agreement with Kenya’s MPost, a ground-breaking start-up where mobile phones are “transformed” into postal addresses.
Oumar Basse, the co-founder and chief executive of Yobante Express, tells Ventureburn that him and his fellow co-founder Badra Badji have long admired the success of MPost.
“In five years, they have grown to over 200 000 registered users and 42 000 active users in Kenya. The virtual postal box is recognised by the Universal Postal Union, a United Nations arm that oversees 192 postal corporations globally.”
Basse’s announcement comes as Yobante Express celebrates a few months of global success. Just last week, it won the Best Scale from Africa to Europe award at Viva AfricArena in Paris, France. In the previous month, it was also announced as the best emerging entrepreneur at AfricArena’s West African summit.
In September 2021, Yobante Express raised a $1.2 million bridge funding round enabling the start-up to scale across and beyond Africa. At the time, it was said to have a run rate of about $8 million in revenues and 2 million parcels carried annually via its web and mobile platform.
According to the latest available StartupList Africa data, MPost has raised over $2 million in funding across four rounds by four investors. Founded in 2015 by Abdulaziz Omar and Twahir Mohamed, MPost also boasts partnerships with mobile operator Safaricom and PCK.
Besides Senegal, Yobante Express has an impressive footprint covering more than 21 African countries – eight of which has an office presence. Next-up, its founders want to connect these countries to European countries, including France, Belgium, Italy and Spain.
It also seeks to expand its infrastructure in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.
“This will complete our logistics corridor in that part of the continent, allowing local commerce and e-commerce to grow, and businesses and individuals to use our technology platform that enables complete track-ability, provides full customer service and reduces the prospect of loss or damage of the merchandise in this sub-region,” says Basse.
MPost delivery offer
With MPost, Yobante Express can add a reliable and simple addressing system on top of its delivery offer.
“Thus, we blitz our expansion plan directly serving the Yobante Express Services offer to hundreds of thousands of MPost users in their home markets, plus allowing MPost to enter in all the markets Yobante has launched. We will jointly enter in new markets for the good sake of African consumers.”
Basse believes the MPost partnership “makes it easier to deliver parcels in cities, between cities and between countries with a significant gain of time and in a cost-effective manner versus any other player that will charge exaggerated fees for unreasonable delivery times.”
With both Yobante Express and MPost being previous participants of the Startupbootcamp AfriTech accelerator programme, Basse and Mohamed have for the last four years already been learning from their respective entrepreneurial journeys.
“We have being discussing this mutual-benefit venture for a long period. Now, both of our companies are at an ideal and critical juncture from a growth-and-scale prospective and this collaboration can be a critical boost to both companies,” he says.
The partnership also delivers logistics solutions for uniquely African problems. So, the next time you want a package delivered from Dakar to Nairobi, but you don’t have a reliable address in Nairobi because of Kenya’s lack of a proper, reliable addressing system, you can rest assured that Yobante Express and MPost will have you covered.
“This joint collaboration will help you get your package efficiently delivered in Kenya at your MPost mapped-address with your phone number in few days and for cheap. Yobante carriers will route it via selected and AI-optimized hubs from our resilient mesh network of relay points all over your package journey,” Basse concludes.