We got to learn more about the Ugandan based startup Logistify AI and the story behind the founders Tobias Tukei and Daniel Emaasit. The two engaged with Techpoint for an exclusive interview on their journey thus far, here are the highlights.
Born and raised in rural Uganda, the duo grew up helping out with the family farm and warehouse. For over 2 decades, never in their wildest dreams had they envisioned a financial breakthrough from their struggling warehouse. At one point, they decided to shift attention to the farm instead as the warehouse was heavily underutilized. Emaasit attributes the harsh farm life to the deterioration of their parent’s health.
On completing university, Tukei worked in supply chain and logistics as a professional for 6 years. Emaasit, on the other hand, is an AI researcher and a Ph.D. data scientist.
What prompted the startup idea?
While working as a logistician in Uganda, Tukei noticed that most warehouse owners were finding it difficult to rent out their underutilized spaces. At the same time, he would receive several requests from shippers searching for storage space. He thus took the role of a ‘middleman’ spending weeks negotiation contracts among parties. The new endeavor was very demanding given the endless back and forth in emails, fax invoices, and endless phone conversations.
Emassit floated the idea of forming a warehouse marketplace to Tukei in July 2016 – that way people could easily find them and book. It took 3 weeks to come up with an MVP (minimum viable product). Their innovative approach to the industry could also be scaled rather than relying on Tobias as a middleman.
The startup operates on the principle of ‘flexible warehousing at low prices.’ They charge a service fee of 5% on users and suppliers are charged 10%. This has placed the company’s Gross Margin Value (GMV) at $10,000. The company made revenues of $3000 within the last 18 months.