Shipbubble is eliminating logistics problems for e-commerce in Nigeria while helping local businesses sell internationally with ease.
As Nigeria’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) continue to grow, contributing about 48% of the GDP, Nigerian entrepreneurs face the pressing challenge of delivering goods to customers on time and well.
The logistics challenges range from concrete problems like the absence of infrastructure to abstract ones like lack of trust, or tardiness on the part of delivery companies. Shipbubble, a logistics and e-commerce aggregation company, is solving this problem.
Co-founded by Jordan Ajibola, the CEO, and Ayodeji Abon, the CTO, Shipbubble is creating a one-stop API integration that allows e-commerce businesses to harmonise all their logistics needs on one platform, eliminating the need for multiple logistics partners.
The e-commerce industry is projected to reach $3.64 trillion in revenue by the end of 2023. Only $9.02 billion (0.24%) of that amount is projected to be in the Nigerian e-commerce space. With a pressing logistics problem, Nigeria may fall behind, or fail to boost revenue in the e-commerce sector.
Ajibola and Abon sat with TechCabal at our office in Lagos to demonstrate how Shipbubble works. Ajibola was quick to mention that Shipbubble is helping companies “locate the perfect logistics partners based on cost, proximity, and performance, allowing for logistics partner assignment without the hassle of text messaging”.
A 2021 World Bank report notes that the cost of moving goods (per unit distance) domestically in Nigeria is about 5.3 times higher than in the US. Meanwhile, Shipbubble claims its aggregated platform will allow traders to have options to choose from a wide range of affordable companies that have been vetted for quality service delivery by the company, cutting costs and earning trust in the process.
This is in addition to creating a tracking page for each business, allowing traders and customers to follow the goods from start to finish accurately.
Abon says an easier way to think of what Shipbubble is doing today is to think of Paystack and other payment aggregators, and how they helped e-commerce businesses to sell faster by supporting online stores with instant accounts where payments are validated within seconds. “Shipbubble is like that, but for logistics,” he says.
Shipbubble’s 10,000 steps to expertise
Ajibola and Abon built the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in 2021, fully transitioning from an earlier version called GetDelivery to Shipbubble by May 2022. The founders then participated in the Startup Wise Guys accelerator program from October 2022 to March 2023, further honing their expertise. Shipbubble has since secured support from angel investors and venture capitalists, including Microtraction, a venture firm that invests in pre-seed startups. As of October 2023, ₦267 million worth of products have been shipped via Shipbubble.
But they’re still far from their destination.
One of the fundamental aspects of Shipbubble’s approach, according to Ajibola, is “helping businesses scale internationally and having more options”. To do this, they need to onboard more logistics companies internationally; this will need more time and more money. The founders are confident that their product will attract the right funding to scale and bring in more partners.
Esther Ulueme, 28, a Nigerian entrepreneur spends her nighttime tracking orders and her daytime talking to clients for her skincare and perfumery brand, leaving her little space for adequate rest and to scale. Ulueme is optimistic about Shipbubble’s solution. “Putting logistics companies under an umbrella like Shipbubble’s will keep them in check,” she tells TechCabal over WhatsApp. “You won’t have to worry much because you’re sure the logistics companies under Shipbubble would have gone through checks and won’t tamper with or lose your product.”
Abon assures business vendors like Ulueme that “[Shipbubble’s] streamlined approach means that entrepreneurs can set up e-commerce ventures with ease with Shipbubble, and Shipbubble will handle everything from inventory management to sales and distribution.” He is confident that this approach will help small businesses scale faster with fewer resources.
Ulueme, who is keen on expanding globally, tells TechCabal that knowing that Shipbubble has logistics companies that can deliver outside Nigeria will help vendors sell internationally without stress.