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Pick-Up Mtaani

How Pick-Up Mtaani is Solving Kenya’s E-commerce Delivery Challenge

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Pick-Up Mtaani, an e-commerce logistics startup, in Kenya has been working to bring safe, secure, and tech-driven delivery services to consumers using products from Safaricom, part of Vodafone Group.  

Kenya has seen a huge rise in demand for internet shopping in recent years – even more so during the pandemic – with platforms like M-PESA making it easier for consumers to pay for products they buy online.

However, the high costs of delivery fees and limited options for sending products to customers are making e-commerce more difficult for businesses, particularly SMEs.

Ken Okiya and Robert Mwalugha, two entrepreneurs based in Nairobi, Kenya are helping businesses overcome this challenge by offering a simple, tech driven solution.

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The two Kenyatta University graduates started Pick-Up Mtaani – an internet shopping delivery service – in May last year, following a surge in demand for e-commerce in Kenya at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pick-Up Mtaani – taken from Swahili to mean, ‘collect from your neighbourhood’ – helps online businesses deliver their products to customers safely and at an affordable price.

The logistics startup uses M-PESA, Africa’s leading fintech platform, and Safaricom’s PayBill cash collection service to manage secure digital payments between e-commerce businesses, customers and neighbourhood shops acting as Pick-Up Mtaani local collection points.

Pick-Up Mtaani also relies on Safaricom’s 4G internet and mobile network to market their services and engage with their wide array of customers.

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Speaking from Pick-Up Mtaani’s Nairobi headquarters, Ken Okiya says: “Technology has leveled the playing field for everyone here. Anyone can start an online business now.

“Social media and messaging apps have made it easier to promote products and communicate with customers. Mobile money platforms like M-PESA enable quick, safe, and secure online transactions. However, most e-commerce businesses in Kenya are facing a similar problem.  Delivering their products to customers is expensive and complicated.”

Ken and Robert know these challenges very well. In 2018, before Pick-Up Mtaani, the entrepreneurs used to crisscross the city of Nairobi on motorbikes, delivering packages door to door.

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“We started Pick-Up Mtaani to help businesses overcome that challenge. By recruiting small shops and premises – grocery stores, salons, bookshops – as local Pick-Up Mtaani points for their neighbourhoods, we can offer a delivery option that is cheaper and more convenient for e-commerce sellers and their customers.”

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