SOUTH AFRICA – B2B delivery-as-a-service (DaaS) startup Orderin, has raised ZAR71 million (US$4.7 million) pre-Series B funding to help it scale its infrastructure and enhance its last-mile delivery service.

Founded in 2013, Orderin is one of South Africa’s leading on-demand delivery services, providing delivery services for the likes of McDonalds and Pick n Pay.

The money raised in this latest round of funding brings total investment to R303 million (US$19.85 million) after previous rounds between 2018 and 2021.

Orderin will use the cash to scale its proprietary DaaS technology with its current client base in the short term, launch DaaS for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the medium term, and establish a flywheel for its long-term goal of providing a platform for all types of business to get access to a variety of affordable e-logistics services.

“E-commerce has been growing steadily over the last few years but the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated this growth. Customer expectations have placed a demand on businesses for easy, quick and sometimes even free delivery options,” said Orderin Chief Executive Officer Thembani Biyam.

“Driving the growth and development of infrastructure will not only improve last-mile delivery and make it more accessible for businesses. This applies especially to SMMEs who can find it difficult to compete with larger enterprises on this point but can also usher in a new future of e-commerce.”

Biyam said emerging technologies are playing a huge role in enabling businesses to meet this high consumer demand when it comes to last-mile delivery, with the start-up’s head of finance Vulnavia Gura pinpointing tech such as AI and data science as areas in which Orderin would develop its capacities.

“These technologies play a crucial role in enabling dynamic predictive models which permit our customers to circumvent these challenges at the speed needed for successful delivery. However, it is costly. The funding we raise allows us to scale our talent, tech and offering as we grow our customers and revenue,” Gura said.

“We are moving quickly to mature our operational and governance models — our investors demand it and our stakeholders expect it. We believe that as a young company entrusted with investors’ funds we should create a reputation for prudence. This will engender confidence in future funders,” he said.

According to a recent report by World Wide Worx, South Africa’s online retail market has more than doubled in the two years defined by the Covid-19 pandemic.

E-commerce grew by 66% in 2020 with online sales reaching R30.2 billion (US$1.97 billion) and projected to top R40 billion (US$2.61 billion) in 2021.

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