TechInAfrica – Meet Bonny Maya, the Tinda founder – Tinda have a strong experience in the field of last mile delivery in Kinshasa, their service allows you to make deliveries to the home of the customers with ease.
First of all, can you pitch us your company in just a few sentences?
Tinda is a last mile delivery service. We allow online and offline sellers to deliver their customers home. We make deliveries at home and in pickup point. To date, our pickup points are at 57 in both Congo. Currently we deliver Kinshasa, Brazzaville, Lubumbashi, Matadi and Goma. Beyond the online or offline sellers, we also deliver business mail, event invitations, pharmaceutical products and clothes from a laundry.
Can you tell us more about yourself, your personal background, your experience and how you went to this journey?
I am Congolese from DRC living in Kinshasa. In my career, I gained expertise in the field of Web Development and Digital Marketing. I worked in several companies in Kinshasa and provided consulting services thereafter. From my consulting hours, I set up platforms to save my time. And these platforms have proven to be so important to people like me who are running out of time to do their own shopping. For the first of my platforms, eMart.cd, a food shopping delivery platform, I had to invest in an efficient delivery service to overcome delivery problems in the DRC. Bad referencing of addresses, no adaptation of on-site logistics service with regard to online vendors, … in short, all these shortcomings motivated me to create a delivery service internally and to offer it also to other vendors like me, online and offline.
Can you tell us more about Congo? Why this market?
The DRC is a country of 85 million inhabitants, of which 26 million have a smartphone and 6 million are on the internet. These 6 million Internet users alone represent a whole country. Internet consumption in the DRC is gaining momentum, and many requests are emerging.
What are the main issues you have been facing with Tinda in Congo?
Controlling the regulation of 2 wheel and 3 wheel motorcycle traffic in the DRC has been a challenge for us. We were being fooled every day by road safety officers and other city services. Problem that we knew how to solve, and our deliverymen roll without hassle now.
Who are your main competitors around? And outside of the country, who are your inspiration?
At home, our potential competitors are DHL, UPS, Aramex, TMS and EMS. And at the African level, we are rather inspired by Sendy and Glovo.
What is your point of view, as a startup founder, about Congo?
Congo has a strong potential and is used to making frog jumps. In the next 4 or 5 years, we will do a very good technological thing.
Is it hard to find investors there?
It is very complex to find an investor in Congo especially for startups in search of seed money. To overcome this, most take part in startup competitions hoping to win the final check.
Rounds A or B are reserved for those who have a very strong network or family connected. But the limits have shifted since, with the participation of our startups in sessions like Pitch My Country of Afrobytes 2019, startuppers are able to pitch in front of investors and take interviews. Also, Congo Business Network which is a network of Congolese professionals from the diaspora and the country organizes more and more crowdfunding campaigns to support selected projects.
This allows these projects to receive funds from other Congolese in the diaspora or in the country and then be accompanied by experts to grow and attack the market as it should.
What do you think is lacking to Congo to develop it more? What are the main barriers to develop a startup there?
First, the understanding of the word “Startup” by the rulers. They need to understand this new enterprise format and give it all the attention they can by taking relief measures and other decisions that can make it easy for companies like this to evolve. Then the excessive price of internet packages. The Internet is still a luxury in the country and risks becoming more so if the state does not act. Companies selling on the internet (services or products) are suffering and are struggling to reach their full development potential. And then the corruption that still gangrean our state services. The non-lucid business owners are harassed by public service agents as in hedgehog hunting.
All these things will have to change! Some have already begun, with the arrival of the new presidency, but work still has to be done because we are talking about a country of 85 million inhabitants and 26 provinces.
What is your perspective for the next years on Congo and more regionally on Africa?
We want to become the last kilometer delivery service of reference in the DRC, and consider the market Congo Brazza and Gabon, in the logic that each surfer residing in these countries is delivered once a week by TINDA. Whether it’s food shopping, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, mail or event invitations.
As you know, we are always on the look of great startups, new products and amazing entrepreneurs, could you name a few locally or regionally in Congo?
Congo DR has many successful entrepreneurs. We call ourselves heroes. We were able to overcome the difficulties to bring out our startups. In the list of those I really appreciate, I quote Ruddy Mukwamu of Maxicash, José Kimpalou and Steve Kashama of WapiMed, Esaie Lupepe of Eteyelo, Pascal Kanik of Schoolap, Thomas Strouvens of Kinshasa Digital Academy, Sido Laterre of Kobo Hub and Seneca Lomonga of Molato Market. But we are legions, and I can not name everyone. All of them are heroes !