20131013191209!Konga_LogoKonga’s founder and CEO, Sim Shagaya just said so himself, via Twitter. The logistics management system will be released to any Nigerian SME that is interested in running a logistics business.

He posted a picture of what it looks like.

He goes on to explain that Mercury will be available to anyone that can use it, regardless of whether they want to do fulfilment for Konga, or any other merchants.

When asked for more details, Sim Shagaya replied in an email, “There are many small and large logistics companies today serving sellers on the Konga marketplace. There are hundreds of logistics companies that are licensed by NIPOST to do parcel delivery across Nigeria. As we engaged with them, we found that one consistent complaint they have is an absence of a robust track and trace system. We decided to extend the proprietary technology we had built for KExpress and make it available to every logistics company – large and small – that desires it.
“There is no way KExpress can carry the burden of ecommerce alone. Already, there are over 30 logistics companies service the platform. Mercury will further broaden that field.”

He also noted that using Mercury is free for the forseeable future and has just one condition – logistics companies should endeavour to be approved by NIPOST which is the regulator.

Logistics has always been the demon on ecommerce street. In May 2013, TechCabal called out ecommerce players, creating “platforms that will help small businesses sell their goods” to look into the real challenge of ecommerce in Nigeria which is logistics.

After raising funds in October 2014, the Konga CEO mentioned logistics as one of the core areas they would be addressing. Eventually Konga let down its hair,  partnered with NIPOST and allowed third party merchants to breathe easy, launching the self-fulfil delivery model. Like I said, logistics is the demon bully of ecommerce in Nigeria and Konga seems determined to kick in its teeth.

All we need now are more startups willing to get in there and do nationwide logistics tailored towards SMEs while adopting the Pay on Delivery model. Free startup idea right there! You’re welcome.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include a statement by the Konga CEO, Sim Shagaya.

Ibukun Taiwo Author

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