South African venture capital firm Imvelo Ventures, founded by Capitec Bank and Empowerment Capital Investment Partners, has set aside funding to expand, build and back app-based delivery service, Quench.

Imvelo Ventures identifies and funds promising South African small and medium enterprises (SMMEs) in the broad spectrum of financial technology, and recognises Quench as a fintech solution to the spike in customer demand for online purchasing.

According to Quench founder Liam McCreedy the South African market is hungry for a company to take the reins in delivering an on-demand multilateral online shopping experience.

“Consumers want retailers to anticipate their needs and adapt swiftly to offer quality and convenience with outstanding customer service. In addition, the lockdown together with digital advancement has disrupted the business models and retail eco-system of many businesses, escalating the demand for innovative solutions to stay relevant in the market.

“To this end we have expanded our business in offering retailers access to an online market platform with distribution and customer engagement capabilities as a solution for retaining and attracting customers, understanding consumer needs, building loyalty and enhancing customer service.”

Since the first lockdown, Quench has grown it on-demand service from the initial alcohol delivery platform to include Woolworths food, restaurant meals for in-home dining and more recently, Dis-Chem goods at store prices.

Anton Baumann, executive director at Empowerment Capital and Imvelo Ventures, says the investment in Quench “backs a highly experienced, passionate and driven leadership team with a robust and uniquely differentiated technology platform.

“We believe that Quench offers our corporate partners an attractive investment opportunity which also drives inclusive growth in the South African economy through offering a solution that addresses current problems faced by consumers and society, challenging the status quo.”

Carmen Marais, procurement manager at Capitec, says globally and in South Africa, there is much excitement about online shopping and on-demand delivery.

“We are pleased to be actively involved in bringing solutions to consumers’ needs. Through our partnership with Empowerment Capital and Imvelo Ventures, we have invested in tech start-ups that align with Capitec’s purpose and supported initiatives that speak to our idea of cutting-edge innovation and performance.”

McCreedy says the investment will assist Quench in growing brand awareness and expanding their partnerships throughout the country.

“Our long-term focus remains to ensure growth with our current retail partners, Woolworths, Dis-chem and Ultra Liquor, along with expanding our restaurant delivery footprint through Mr Yum South Africa. More immediately, our attention will be focussed on escalating our offering across multiple industries.

“To this end, in April this year, we will be launching a fully integrated back-end system with a new consumer facing app for our latest addition ‘Quench Marketplace”- a new B2C channel created to empower suppliers, manufactures, wine farms, produce farms and many more alike industry players, to sell, advertise and distribute off Quench’s infrastructure directly to the consumer’s door within 24 to 48 hours across South Africa.”

Dr Werner Roux, CEO of Quench, comments: “the positive and secure investment behind Quench by likeminded and market leaders is encouraging. The company has experienced unprecedented growth over the past 18 months and we are excited about what the future will hold.”