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Nigeria’s Topship aspires to be a ‘Flexport for African SME’s’

In June 2020, the Topship was launched during the limited-resource lockdown of COVID-19. It has more than 300 retail traders, has grown by 20% a month, has established eight fulfillment centers in Nigeria, and is engaged in its worldwide network with more than 30 partners.

“We are a shipping platform that connects African merchants and SMEs with the rest of the world with imports and exports fulfilled within three to five working days. Nigerian merchants are realizing that there’s a huge market outside the country, and we’re working hard to bridge that gap and ensure that they can access new markets and new audiences, and do this as easily as possible,” said Moses Enenwali, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Topship.

Merchants may choose from a number of shipping choices, such as express, basic, and cargo, depending on a variety of aspects, needs, and criteria, such as pricing and delivery time, on the startup’s platform.

“We’ve also made it incredibly easy to ship cargo internationally for merchants,” said Enenwali.

The COVID-19 situation highlighted the necessity for such a solution even more.

“It was interesting to observe that as the global economy was slowing down due to the lockdowns, demand for international shipping was skyrocketing. The obvious demand, clear pain points, and gap in the market strengthened our conviction, so we started building,” Enenwali said.

“We like to say we’re building Flexport for African SMEs. Our goal is to be the shipping platform for African businesses.”

Topship, which has been bootstrapped since its inception, obtained an angel round of investment in March of this year to assist it to reach its next set of goals. Consistent growth has been achieved.

“We’re growing rapidly, and are very aggressive about growth. We’ve maintained an average of 20 percent monthly growth since we launched, the reception has been good, and demand remains strong, which continues to reinforce our faith in the industry,” said Enenwali.

“We’ve built a web app that makes it very easy for merchants to request shipments, get different prices for different shipping services, and import goods from around the world.”

Topship is currently focused on making it easier for Nigerian merchants to access global markets by shipping their goods easily from importing to their doorsteps from anywhere in the world. The company charges fees on transactions made on its platform and also has revenue-sharing agreements with partners.

“We are already operating in every state in Nigeria, with plans to open processing centers nationwide. With Nigeria opening up to the world and increasing exports to other countries, we’re currently getting on the wave. We believe that local manufacturers in places like Lagos, Ibadan, and Kano would like to take advantage of this opportunity, and in the next couple of years we would establish a presence across the continent, as it is our mission to serve African merchants,” said Enenwali.

“In addition to focusing on growth, we’ve also been heavy on making money every day and generating revenue, so that has been happening since day one, and we would continue to push that upwards.”

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