South African Parcel Shipping Innovator TUNL Secures $1M in Initial Funding Round


TUNL, a South African parcel shipping platform, secured $1 million in pre-seed funding from investors such as Founders Factory Africa, Digital Africa Ventures, E4E Africa, and Jozi Angels.

Established in 2022 by CEO Matthew Davey and COO Craig Lowman, the company was born out of Davey’s experience as the managing director of a Dutch firm importing engineering supplies from South Africa to Europe, where he identified a critical challenge prompting the inception of this business.

The company intends to utilize the funds to expand its operations in South Africa, the primary market, and initiate operations in other significant emerging African economies. It asserts that its services can help e-commerce enterprises achieve substantial savings of 50% to 80% on international shipping costs.

Lowman’s spokesperson emphasized, “Our pricing model is transparent and democratized. Our goal is to ensure that every business, regardless of size, has an equal opportunity to boost international sales by minimizing shipping expenses as much as possible.”

“It’s crucial to support merchants in their success, as a single expensive shipping option at checkout can prompt customers to abandon their carts or reluctantly pay extra,” explained Davey. TUNL, now boasting 700 merchants in its “shipping club,” has experienced a remarkable 35% month-on-month growth since its inception. As per TUNL’s statement, South African merchants have exported goods exceeding R24 million (~$1.3 million) in value in 2023, with over 11,000 parcels sent internationally. TUNL plans to establish partnerships with similar marketplaces and platforms across Africa, building on collaborations with ANKA, an Ivorian startup, and DHL.

The e-commerce platform has been operational for two years, deriving revenue from a percentage cut on each transaction. Its diverse products include backpacks, trendy shoes, DIY supplies, books, nanofiber materials, high-performance springs, furniture, musical instruments, and non-perishable items such as cosmetics.

The recently secured funding is earmarked for bolstering the platform’s presence in South Africa and facilitating its launch in other pivotal African and emerging markets. The infusion of funds will play a crucial role in improving both sales processes and the onboarding procedure for merchants.



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