Africa Courier Express (ACE) has raised $850,000 from Interswitch. The funding event was revealed today by Interswitch as part of the announcement of its $10 million e-payment fund for startups in Africa.
ACE is a Nigeria-based ecommerce logistics company founded by ex-Jumia executives, Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin. TechCabal has learnt that the investment by Interswitch is part of larger round of $2.6 million by various investors, which the intends to plough into an expansion strategy across West Africa. The startup currently operates in five Nigerian cities.
"We are delighted and very proud to be selected as the first investment from the Interswitch ePayment Growth Fund."- http://t.co/T8hCox9nVG
— ACE (@Acedotafrica) February 16, 2015
Logistics, it has been said, is the killer app for commerce in Africa. The funding is also critical for the startup to remain competitive in the face of commerce juggernauts building out their own dedicated logistics and delivery infrastructure. Specifically Konga’s K-Express which boasts of more than 700 vehicles in its delivery fleet. Konga also recently announced a strategic partnership with the Nigerian Postal Service which gives the online store access to the 5,000 post-offices as pickup and despatch centres.
According to Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director of Interswitch, “Interswitch is committed to encouraging innovative ideas and developing start-ups across Africa. We created the US$10 million e-payment growth fund to do just that, and it is with great excitement that today we can announce our first investment. ACE is exactly the sort of business we want to support: dynamic, energetic and dedicated to breaking barriers for e-commerce in the African market”.
Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin founded ACE in 2013 (LinkedIn info), with seed funding from EchoVC according to our sources. But they did not officially acknowledge its existence until they left Jumia in 2014. The startup was first known as A-Post, before it rebranded to African Courier Express.