Four African innovators based in the United States (US) set out to solve the problem they encountered when trying to send goods home. Chisom Ebinama, Kwadwo Nyarko, Perry Ogwuche and Tochukwu Okoro, created Shypmate as a way to avoid expensive shipping cost by using travellers to deliver the goods.
“We travelled to the US for college and have been there ever since. We saw the problem of trying to send stuff back home because it was expensive to ship these items,” Ogwuche was quoted as saying.
According to Tech Point, the emerging company was launched in January this year. To use the service, users enter in the details of their item along with where they would like the item to be delivered. The item is sent with a willing traveller after the user pays for the transaction using PayPal.
The traveller and the consumer can meet at any meetup point and Shypmate has implemented a series of safety measures to ensure that packages arrive safely. All travellers are vetted and have their details captured before they make any deliveries.
“Initially, we encourage them to meet at the airport, but because we connect them to meet, they can always decide on where is convenient for them to meet to exchange the package”, says Ebinama.
The innovation lessens the costs associated with shipping while creating an opportunity for travellers to earn some money. “Without using direct word of mouth, people are telling people and the numbers keeping growing,” remarked Ebinama.
The company plans to narrow the gap between Africa and the US even further by setting up a platform through which merchants in Nigeria can display their products.