Swiftly, a Ghanaian/Nigerian based online freight forwarding rate comparison platform for global deliveries has received support from Silicon Valley vanguards including Microsoft, Facebook and venture capital firm Draperdarkflow.
After being selected as one of the Top 30 startups to launch at Demo Africa Launchpad in 2016, Swiftly was approached by Microsoft to participate in its Microsoft Bizspark program which provides free software, services, technical support, and access to the Azure cloud. In 2017, The Microsoft relationship also led to a partnership with the Microsoft Interns4Africa Program which provides human resource support to Swiftly for 6 months.
Swiftly was selected by Facebook to participate in FbStart, a global program designed to help startups build and grow their business that include year-round technical support from Facebook, an exclusive community of global startups, free credits to tools and services from dozens of premier partners, and training on Facebook Developer Tools.
“We are thrilled to have Swiftly garner the attention of some of the most incredible tech giants in the world who support our vision of disrupting the archaic shipping industry in Africa. Funds are critical to the growth and success of a startup but the access to industry intelligence, experience and network that we have received from Microsoft, Facebook and others is invaluable,” says Edem Dotse, the CEO of Swiftly who was inspired to launch the e-shipping solution while working at a Ghanaian import,export and trading company.
While participating in SpeedUPAfrica (now the African Startup Institute), Swiftly attracted the attention of DraperDarkFlow, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist firm primarily backed by the legendary Tim Draper to secure a round of seed funding.
Swiftly allows users to receive competitive quotes from freight forwarders via mobile phone or computer for shipments in and out of Africa and eventually worldwide. Users sign up on the Swiftly platform and enter their shipment details and logistics requirements to begin receiving quotes from a global network of freight forwarders. Once a quote is chosen, the selected freight forwarder will arrange door to door pickup and delivery. Comparative analysis of freight rates ensures that users cut down on costs.
“Shipping in Africa especially West Africa can be extremely challenging. Simply connecting with a freight forwarder by phone can be difficult and many do not have websites or even email. Just getting a single shipping quote could potentially take 3-4 days with back and forth phone calls let alone comparing quotes from multiple providers. Our team has identified many of the inefficiencies in the African cargo and shipping industry and believe Swiftly is a solution,” adds Dotse who has represented Swiftly at international tech events including SpeedUpAfrica, Logisym2017, Demo Africa, and Cop22.
Swiftly is currently a web based platform with a mobile app to soon be launched.