MPost a Startupbootcamp AfriTech alum, provides an innovative mail delivery solution, has recently signed a partnership with Safaricom, a leading mobile network operator in Kenya. The new partnership will create more awareness about their services and potentially target 5 million new users of the service. We have met with Abdulaziz Mohamed, founder and CEO of MPost, to know more about the startup and their recent progress.
Hello Abdulaziz! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I was previously the Head of Strategy at the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority, where I helped in setting up the Strategic Function for the Authority. Prior to this, I worked as a Senior Strategy Officer at Volunteers for Africa. Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Strategic Management.
Tell us your founding story: how did you get started with MPost?
The idea was conceived when I lost a job opportunity with the Government. Typically, the Government sends letters of appointment via Post. At the time, we shared a single postal box with 89 members of our extended family, and locating who had the key was a challenge. By the time I located the key, it was 3 months down the line, and I had already lost on the opportunity. My appointment letter had been sent to the postal address I had provided, and the 7 day window accorded by Government for applicants to respond had lapsed. That is when it dawned on me the number of opportunities lost as a result, and that is how the idea of MPost was mooted. To address these challenges.
What pain points are you solving, and how?
- You can change your postal code when you move to a different city since the postal address is not pegged to one having a physical postal box.
- Notifications which are received once your mail arrives at the Post Office ensures that “empty” trips to the post office are minimized, and mail is collected when it arrives/on time.
- The mail can also be delivered to your home or place of work, or wherever you are.
- Parcels and packages can be tracked, using a tracking number, which is generated when the mail is received at the post office.
- To acquire an MPost address, a person only pays USD 3 as registration fees per annum.
- Notifications which are automatically sent to the recipient once mail is received ensure one gets mail, it doesn’t just “lie” at the post office.
- The mobile number is unique to everyone.
- Postal Services are guaranteed as they are provided by governments.
- Last-mile connectivity
- Parcels and packages can be tracked using a tracking number, which is generated when the mail is received at the post office.
Congrats on your recent deal with Safaricom, can you please tell us a little more about that?
MPost partnered with Safaricom to create awareness, trust and drive more people to use the platform, noting that Safaricom is a household name in Kenya and has a large customer base. In addition, it provides an additional service offering to Safaricom customers.
Any other recent progress and achievements?
- Demo Africa -DEMO LION 2017
- Oracle innovation award – Social equity & Poverty Eradication
- Regional Champions – Startup World cup 2018
- South Africa Innovation Award – Best South African Startup
- Africa Public Service Awards – Best youth empowerment Award
- Top 10 Africa startups – Forbes magazine 2019
- Currently operational in Kenya o Launching in Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa in 2020
- Signed up over 66,000 users o Delivered over 57,000 mails and parcels
What are your challenges now at MPost?
To meet the great demand from other countries since our product has become popular since we launched.
What are your goals for the next year?
Expansion into the greater East African region
How did Startupbootcamp AfriTech support your journey?
The program helped us in improving the business model and scaling. In addition, it was a platform that provided access to investors.
What practical advice would you give to first-time entrepreneurs who have a business idea but do not yet know how to turn it into a reality?