Local Durban-based tech company, Spazapp, has launched a “money-saving” app for spaza store owners. Geared at uplifting last mile traders and disadvantage communities, the app works to connect users directly to bulk buying opportunities and business support.
Spazapp is a free android app that gives traders the ability to order directly from big brands and suppliers. This faster model of technology is a convenient and efficient way of performing business transactions.
Already popular within the KZN borders, the app strives to close the gap where those who typically “have the least” are paying the most for basic goods because of inefficient supply chain processes.
“Spazapp’s mission is to uplift thousands of families and youth by empowering those trading in the informal sector with free, smart trading technology,” says Spazapp CEO, Tim Strang. “We’ve found a niche tech-solution to real problems – through Spazapp, informal traders can now lower the cost of essential groceries sold by placing orders for free directly from large suppliers without having to shut down their store, pay for transport, or miss out on bulk buying savings because of cashflow constraints.”
In order to access this convenient “cashless” approach to buying stock, traders need only register on the app with their cellphones and make an ATM deposit or EFT transfer into their automatically created e-wallet to buy and receive goods. This reduces the risk for both owners and delivery units.
The app also allows for the selling of airtime, data, and life insurances policies, eliminating the expense of hired equipment to print vouchers. “Our users tell us that the free delivery alone saves them between R200 and R800 a month,” added Spazapp CTO, Byron Verreyne.
The team started on the project in June 2014 and went live with the Beta version in July 2016. Based on the success of the pilot, the company has been able to on board core partners such as Unilever, and Tiger. More notable, Kingson Capital has chosen to invest in the e-commerce platform.
“Spazapp fits our mandate. We aim to invest in companies that are using technology to disrupt the industries they are operating in and opening new ways of doing business. We have experience in distribution in our investment company, and we believe that Spazapp provides a much-needed solution which is viable and scalable,” comments Ross Jenvey, director of Kingson Capital Partners.
Recently, Spazapp partnered with the eThekweni Municipality to grow micro-business in the city by introducing technology such as Spazapp to local traders so as to create sustainable township businesses that are connected, save money, increase their profits, and trade more competitively.
“Spazapp is proving to be a social enterprise that is an innovative commercial enabler for inclusive, sustainable job creation, combining profitability with social impact,” says Jason Bygate, CEO of Engage. “It’s exciting to start seeing these solutions come to life through the local tech industry. By essentially re-engineering the distribution value chain, Spazapp’s dynamic platform is empowering communities at the base of the pyramid and making markets work for the poor.”