Senegalese Logistics and delivery company PAPS has secured $4.5 million in a pre-Series A round led by pan-African venture capital firm 4DX Ventures and regional telecom operator Orange. The round also saw the participation of existing investors Uma Ventures and Saviu Ventures and new investors Enza Capital, Kepple Ventures, To.org, Google Ventures, Proparco, Lofty Inc Capital and Yamaha Motor.
Founded in 2016 by Bamba Lo, PAPS is a logistics and delivery company that is providing end-to-end logistics solutions for businesses with online and offline operators. The company is filling the void that has been long existing in the region by offering logistics and delivery services that are both useful and timely.
The company plans to use the newly acquired funding to expand its tech-powered logistics solutions across the French-speaking region of Africa. Through its platform, PAPS is attending to the needs of both small, medium and well-established businesses by taking care of their logistics-related needs including storage and cross-border transport. The platform is trusted by its users because of a feature that allows both merchants and customers to track their deliveries and know every detail of the delivery. For merchants, they can at their convenience, schedule the time and date for deliveries using PAPS’ platform. With the new fund, the company will strengthen its tech team, build out physical infrastructure as well as increase the number of warehouses and vehicles.
Although the company caters majorly to the needs of businesses, when it first started it operated a customer-to-customer logistics model but switched after noticing that requests were not so frequent and were mostly disorganized. The company also said it was difficult to predict the delivery flow unlike in its current business-to-business model where deliveries are planned and nothing is done randomly and in an impromptu manner.
According to PAPS Chief Executive “When we launched PAPS, the first thing we wanted to give to our clients was visibility on their transactions, they had to know when the driver has picked their goods up, where the goods are during transit, and when it arrives. So that’s what we are trying to do to build — an infrastructure that can serve all B2B clients from warehousing and dispatching to the last-mile delivery”.
PAPS has done really well in terms of business and leveraging the opportunities in francophone Africa. The company currently has a relay network of centres that clients can use as delivery points. The company also owns the warehouses it uses to store goods and parcels of its clients. The company also boasts of fleets of cars, trucks, motorcycles and vans used for deliveries.
“The gap that we are filling is one that all these big corporations didn’t want it to address, which is the domestic market. No one addressed the domestic market except PAPS and that’s why we want to give quality and reliability”, the company’s CEO said emphasizing that the company wants to provide the infrastructure as well as be an enabler for the aforementioned category of businesses to gain access to new clients/customers.
In a statement, Walter Baddoo, co-founder and general partner at 4DX Ventures, said “We have been impressed with the PAPS team’s execution thus far and their dedication to creating a truly innovative business in the logistics space. We believe technology has a critical role to play in modernizing Africa’s logistics infrastructure and we look forward to further partnering with Bamba and the paps team on this next phase of their growth”.
PAPS claims that it is the biggest last-mile logistics company in Senegal and boasts of a client base that includes Jumia, Glovo, Sokowatch, etc. The company which is also present in Ivory coast has made more than ten million deliveries since it started and is experiencing growth of 150 percent YoY.