Lowering the cost of food in Nigeria

Pricepally is an ecommerce company founded in Nigeria in 2019. This week we caught up with their co-founder, Luther Lawoyin to learn more.

What challenge does Pricepally solve?

We are solving the problem of the high cost of food in African cities. We do this by selling produce in bulk and enabling customers to split the costs with others.

What were you doing before founding the company?

I was CEO of another company I founded prior to Pricepally, its called Lucy.ng which is still operating.

How did you get Pricepally off the ground?

After getting the idea, I did some research and tested the idea in different ways. Then I gathered a founding team, discussed the vision and bootstrapped to launch.

We have been lucky to be part of several great accelerator programs - MIT venture Scaling Bootcamp, Ayada Lab program, Social & Inclusive Business Bootcamp, Westerwelle Foundation program as well as the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship Program.

Nigeria accounted for 12% of the ecommerce investment across the continent in 2020

How much money have you raised so far?

We are currently on our pre-seed round, so I wouldn't be able to go in detail on this impending round. However, we have previously raised about $100k in Angel, founders and debt funding.

What went into building the early stage product?

Sweat, sleepless nights, and capital.

What’s your tech stack?

Laravel & MySQL.

Where do you currently operate and where are you looking to expand to?

We are currently operating in Lagos. We plan to launch in 3 new cities in Nigeria this year before expanding to other African cities

How have you grown your user base?

We have grown our user base through customer satisfaction and our referral program. We also run targeted ad campaigns. 

What metric do you use to measure success and why?

Sales, retention rate and Pally to order ratio. These are the 3 metrics which inform us best on our growth.

What’s the most useful tool you use in your business?

Our admin team is fully remote, so we heavily rely on Google Suite.

What do you love most and least about running Pricepally ?

We have a big vision to build the alternative food system that will replace existing inefficient systems within the decade. It's a big challenge but I love it.

I imagine what it will look like when it’s fully realized and that is beyond exciting. However, it’s super tough and it will take a lot to achieve.

I wish the infrastructure to leverage to get it done were in place but it’s not, so it takes more time to solve - that's what I love the least about it. 

What company do you look to for inspiration and why?

Pinduoduo in China and Twiga in Kenya . The very fast growth of Pinduoduo and their impact on rural China is an inspiration. Twiga in Kenya to have patiently but steadily affected the food system for good.

There are several others in the sector who are doing a great job helping secure agriculture in Africa which is a gargantuan challenge, and highly commendable.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt so far?

Given the challenges we have surpassed building this company to this stage, I have learnt that there is always a way, no matter the challenge.

What are your views on the African tech ecosystem?

The challenges in Africa are enormous and mostly require local solutions. It's the last frontier for large-scale growth globally.

The ecosystem needs more entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capital. There are still many gaps that need to be filled in terms of human resources and capital.

The governments in Africa need to genuinely engage and improve the ecosystem by all the means they have.

In The News 🚀

🇳🇬 Nigerian ecommerce juggernaut, Jumia, is expanding into online food delivery as it tries to bolster revenue after a sluggish 2020.

🇬🇭 The Bank of Ghana has launched a fintech sandbox to financial services companies to test innovative products, services, and business models.

🇳🇬 Nigerian fintech startup, ImaliPay, raised an undisclosed pre-seed round to service gig workers’ financial needs.

🇰🇪 Powered by People, a Kenyan retail-tech startup has raised a $1.5 million seed round.

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