Social delivery startup, Dropbuddies, eyes expansion into Abuja
Whether it’s a document or passport that needs to be delivered, food from your favorite restaurant or a laundry drop, Tomi Solanke’s Dropbuddies, a peer to peer delivery service, connects individuals who want to transport such packages with people who are already headed in the same direction. This startup does any delivery as long as the package is legal.
Before you can become a ‘Dropbuddy’ on the delivery side of the business, you have to understand your city enough or own a means of transportation (personal car, bike, truck or bus). The business leverages on these types of people to get goods delivered.
It is a little over a year since the business started. In spite of this short period, Tomi told Outrepreneurs how awesome it has been in terms of revenue and customer base. “On the demand side we were working with just 15 businesses when we started, but that number has increased phenomenally. On the supply side are the people helping us make the delivery. Revenue has multiplied more than 5 times compared to when we started.”
It is all about creating seamless experiences for users, Tomi opines. Whether a business model is new or not, People will always replicate your idea. He manages this by staying ahead, getting feedback from users so he can pivot, creating better customer and technological experiences.
Still within Lagos, though, Dropbuddies has experimented interstate delivery but has decided to take it one city at a time. The startup is now considering intra-state delivery options in some South East and South West states. However, the first port of call outside Lagos will be the nation’s capital, Abuja.
All this expansion is out of a need to fulfill the goal of empowering 25,000 people across Africa. “It is a social delivery startup that makes money and that is why our business model involves not owning our own logistics fleet, we are leveraging on these people to do our deliveries. So we need to reach more people, empower them by creating another source of revenue and create more revenue for us.” Tomi said.
Dropbuddies’ business model, and its success over a short period of time has attracted investors, but the startup hasn’t found the best investors yet for this business. “Nigerian investors are actually sharks; they try to get the best deal from you. Though we have an angel investor, we haven’t agreed yet to the investment offers we have on hand. We are however open to more investment opportunities and will close in on an offer once we see an investor whose long term goals align with ours,” Tomi pointed out.
Citing his biggest asset in the business as his team, Tomi feels lucky to have picked the right crop of techies so early in his journey. “I cannot discount the work that the team does, skilled guys! They are at the center of everything. Smart guys from interesting tech and business background. If I were alone, we would not be where we are today.”
Chiamaka Akuba37 Posts
Chiamaka Akuba is a graduate of Mass Communication of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She is passionate about emerging markets and entrepreneurship and is actively working with the industry. She loves her conversations challenging and can’t help laughing when you call her ‘Honourable Writer of the Federal Republic'. Chiamaka is a Staff Writer at Outrepreneurs.