Parcelninja: Solv­ing the lo­cal e-com­merce puz­zle

Finweek English Edition - - INSIDE - By Jes­sica Hub­bard

While global e-com­merce is al­ready a mas­sive in d u s t r y, lo­cal e - c om­merce sa l e s re­main paltry in com­par­i­son. Ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts, less than 1% of re­tail sales in South Africa t a ke pl ace onl i ne. Although we have seen a few high­pro­file deals in the space, such as the merger bet ween takealot. com and Kala­hari. com (t wo of SA’s ma­jor e-com­merce play­ers), the in­dus­try is still hov­er­ing on t he side­lines of SA’s con­sumer land­scape.

Loca l pl ay e r s fa c e a ra f t of chal­lenges, in­clud­ing shoddy con­nec­tiv­ity and IT in­fra­struc­ture, a con­sumer base that lacks ex­pe­ri­ence a nd conf i dence onl i ne a nd poor ful­fil­ment and lo­gis­tics. It is this last bar­rier that lo­cal start-up Parcelninja is at­tempt­ing to over­come. Launched i n 2013 by Justin Dren­nan, Ryan Dren­nan a nd Terence Mur­phy, Parcelninja pro­vides c l oud- based ware­hous­ing and de­liv­ery so­lu­tions – thereby seek­ing to solve the last piece of the e-com­merce puz­zle. The Parcelninja founders a re no strangers to in­dus­try chal­lenges hav­ing started t he popular on­line re­tailer Wan­tI­tAll and part­ner­ing with Makro to han­dle a large part of the com­pany’s e-com­merce needs. The nim­ble startup is al­ready pro­vid­ing e-com­merce s er v i ces to s ev­era l on­line shops, i nclud­ing Su­per­bal­ist, Wan­tI­tAll, Gra­bit, DCS­tore, Ju­niva, Ac­tion Gear, Kids Em­po­rium and Flook. It re­cently at­tracted a R20m in­vest­ment from C5 Hold­ings, the par­ent com­pany of C5 Cap­i­tal – a Lon­don-based spe­cial­ist data and cy­ber se­cu­rity fund manager.

Finweek caught up with the chief ex­ec­u­tive ninja Justin Dren­nan to f ind out more.

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