AFSIC – Investing in Africa, interview with OX Delivers
OX attended AFSIC 2021 and found it to be the perfect event to increase exposure.
OX Delivers is an on-demand logistics company bridging the gap of Transport Poverty in Africa. With a strong focus on African rural emerging markets, OX uses clean, reliable, and affordable transport to help customers get their goods to market. The use of clean-transport electric trucks ensures OX is having a positive environmental impact as well as an economic and social impact on African communities.
OX attended AFSIC 2021 and found it to be the perfect event to increase the exposure of their start-up project. Their feedback was that AFSIC provided an invaluable opportunity to network with important investors and collaborators, “The wide-ranging panels, speaker and networking events enabled us to meet and make important contacts with potential investors and collaborators in and around our operating market. The response we had to the OX truck was fantastic!”
AFSIC – Investing in Africa is an annual event focused entirely on investment into Africa. With a strong emphasis on networking, AFSIC is the perfect opportunity for African projects and businesses to connect with important investors, dealmakers and business leaders. AFSIC has served as a highlight event in the investment calendar creating invaluable opportunities for both investors and projects seeking investment. AFSIC 2022 will be held in London in October and full details can be found on www.afsic.net.
AFSIC – Investing in Africa sat down with OX to chat about their company, their experience navigating a start-up in Africa and how AFSIC was an important event for their company gaining invaluable exposure and networking with relevant investors.
Can you tell us a little bit more about what Ox Delivers does and what projects you have on the go?
We are a smart logistics company using clean, reliable, and affordable transport to help customers get their goods to market. This is enabled by our purpose-designed all-terrain electric truck and digital platform. We have established operations in Rwanda, achieved our first revenue in March 2021 and are now serving over 600 clients – seeing rapid growth month-on-month. The Warwickshire, UK-based Research & Development team is developing the electric truck.
We have a long-term R&D project funded which is currently under embargo. We can’t wait to tell you about it!
What is Ox Delivers’ vision?
Our vision is simple: to deliver clean, reliable, and affordable transport to the 3 billion people without access to vehicles. OX Delivers drives prosperous trade in emerging markets to create a self-reinforcing cycle of growth and impact.
What inspired the team at Ox Delivers to start this company?
Our inspiration continues to be the global population without access to vehicles. Rural emerging markets (one third of global population) lack access to motorised transport. Bicycles or human portage are used to transport goods to local, low-value, markets. Lack of access to larger markets and cold chains increases waste and limits incomes. At OX, we want to make access to transport available to those without it.
Can you tell us a bit more about Transport Poverty and how Ox Delivers is helping bridge the gap?
Africa is a continent of growth and entrepreneurs, but also transport poverty. A lack of capital means vehicles that were never designed for dirt roads are imported second-hand. Only few can afford them. This means that motorised transport is scarce, unreliable, polluting, and expensive.
For most entrepreneurs, the only alternative is using bicycles, people, or animals to move goods. As a result, goods can’t be moved fast enough or far enough to build a prosperous business. And so this spiral continues. As Africa’s population grows so will the problem.
OX is bridging the gap as an on-demand logistics company serving rural emerging markets. Customers pay OX to deliver goods using our shared EV trucks; affordably and reliably. This enables entrepreneurs to reach new markets, immediately creating new value, which they reinvest in their businesses and communities. This kick starts a cycle of growth delivering economic, social, and environmental impact.
What is Ox Delivers’ clean-transport ecosystem model?
Our clean, affordable and reliable transport ecosystem uses 3 key innovations: our digital platform, electric truck, and Driver Plus (DP) strategy. Our digital platform, which is 2G capable, is used by customers to book shipments of goods on the OX trucks, and enables incremental products and data monetisation. The OX truck is the only electric truck designed for emerging markets, and will be shipped flatpack to be assembled in its destination market. Our DP strategy is all about our local entrepreneurial drivers: they connect with new customers on a regular basis, growing customer relationships and protecting assets in their regular rhythms of collection and delivery of goods.
Ox Delivers is all about clean transport, what design have you put in place for your vehicle to achieve this aim?
The OX truck is the first purpose designed electric truck for emerging markets.
Being electric, it has zero emissions and therefore tackles both global warming and air pollution which is Africa’s 2nd largest cause of death, and becoming an increasing problem as the number of vehicles rise.
The other benefit of going electric is much lower running costs. “Fuel” is typically half the cost of diesel, and electric vehicles require much less maintenance. For example, there is no need to ever change the oil.
Who are Ox Delivers’ main competitors and what you are doing to make sure you’re a cut above the rest?
Today our smallholder, trader, cooperative, and entrepreneur customers are served by informal transport providers who own and operate bicycles or trucks. They lack co-ordination, the ability to scale, or technology to compete. Other companies serving this Business2Entrepreneur economy include trade platforms and wholesalers such as Twiga and Wasoko. Many often started out as asset-light operations but were forced to pivot and bring transport “in house” to deliver a reliable service.
Our purpose-built technology creates an enduring competitive advantage: ultra-low OpEx and reliability are critical to business success, and that is why OX is developing its own hardware and software to achieve this with its purpose-designed electric truck and digital app. As a result, the businesses above represent ideal “white label” customers for OX, utilising OX’s unique technology to deliver lower OpEx than their existing in-house or embedded transport solutions.
We’ve seen you have succeeded in closing an oversubscribed $3.4m Funding Round, how did you manage to achieve such a successful fundraising campaign and see such incredible growth in OX Delivers operations?
Our operations in Rwanda started in March 2021, and in 14 months we have opened two depots moving goods for over 600 customers. Revenue has grown consistently by 22% month-on-month and our depots turn away 80% of received calls/inbound interest due to lack of truck and delivery capacity which we continue to expand. We see that this success and incredible growth is down to our transport being affordable and reliable, and to our DP strategy.
Our DPs are local entrepreneurial drivers working out of our depots who connect with new customers on a regular basis, growing customer relationships and protecting assets in their regular rhythms of collection and delivery of goods. The reliability of service has proven to be radical for our operations in Rwanda and key to our customer growth.
You attended AFSIC 2021 and brought your Ox Truck to the event. What sort of publicity and traction did you gain from attending AFSIC 2021?
AFSIC 2021 was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our electric truck ahead of its appearance at the COP26 UK Presidency Pavilion on Transport Day and at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda this year. The wide-ranging panels, speaker and networking events enabled us to meet and make important contacts with potential investors and collaborators in and around our operating market. The response we had to the OX truck was fantastic.
What benefit do you see for other African start up business and innovations in attending AFSIC this year?
The greatest benefits of attending AFSIC 2022 will be the platforms to talk about your business and the reach to potential collaborators and investors there.
AFSIC 2022 is taking place in London 10th-11th October 2022 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. To register for AFSIC visit our registration page: https://www.afsic.net/delegate-registration/ . Book before 30th June to save up to £480 with our Early Bird rate. Use the Media Discount Code AF2210M for an additional 10% discount. There are still a variety of exhibition and sponsorship opportunities on offer, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.