Skip to content

Emerging Brand Africa

Home » South Africa Shipping Platform TUNL Raises $1 Million in Pre-Seed Round

South Africa Shipping Platform TUNL Raises $1 Million in Pre-Seed Round

South Africa Shipping Platform TUNL Team

South Africa Parcel shipping platform TUNL raises $1 million to accelerate growth of e-commerce exports from Africa in pre-seed funding from Founders Factory Africa, Digital Africa Ventures, E4E Africa, and Jozi Angels.

The funding will accelerate the company’s growth in its beachhead market of South Africa. At the same time, it will begin building toward launching in other strategic African and emerging markets.

Since its launch, TUNL has grown 35% month-on-month. Currently, it has over 550 merchants now part of its “shipping club”, with the number of merchants doubling in Q3 2023.

South Africa has TUNL’s merchants who have shipped over 8,000 international parcels in 2023. These figures represent exports from South Africa worth R19.5 million.

Founded in 2022 by Matthew Davey and Craig Lowman. TUNL team is driven by the core belief that opening up cross-border trade is the most powerful lever to unlock the huge growth. This increases the potential of thousands of SMEs in emerging markets. Likewise, it creates sustainable livelihoods and bringing in foreign currency.

Also Read: African Fashion Commerce Startup, MAKA Raises $2.65 Million Pre-Seed Round

Shipping Platform,TUNL Initiatives

The funds secured are earmarked for accelerating TUNL’s expansion within its primary market South Africa. At the same time, it helps to establish a foundation for its introduction into other crucial African and emerging markets.

Davey, drawing from his experience as the managing director of a Dutch company. The company that imported South African engineering materials into Europe, identified the challenges of a cumbersome and costly shipping process.

During the pandemic, small- and medium-sized South African merchants faced a recurring issue. The issue was about shipping costs sometimes exceeded the value of their products. This problem extended across various product categories. They include textiles, clothing, footwear, camera accessories, and specialized components.

However, TUNL responded to this challenge by setting up its own economy courier service to the USA. Likewise, it also formed strategic partnerships with global courier giants like UPS and FedEx.

This initiative aims to reduce shipping costs for SMEs by an impressive 50% to 75%.

Craig Lowman emphasized TUNL’s commitment to transparency and equality, stating, “Our pricing is completely transparent and democratized.

We want to ensure that every business, large or small, can have an equal chance to convert overseas sales by reducing the cost of shipping as much as possible,”

Also Read: Techstar, ARM Labs Partner to drive $1.2 Million Investment in 12 African Startups

South Africa TUNL, How it works

On the TUNL platform, merchants now have the ability to provide customers with various shipping options during checkout. This includes an “economy” courier option with shipping costs starting as low as $10 from South Africa to the USA. More so, with a slightly longer delivery time of approximately 10 to 14 days.

Additionally, customers can choose faster shipping options. The option allows good to be delivered a weeks time.

TUNL works in partnerships with FedEx or UPS at more reasonable costs than they could obtain individually.

This approach enhances flexibility and holds the potential to improve conversion rates. Likewise, with exact prices varying based on destination and weight, according to Davey.

South Africa, two-year-old e-commerce platform makes money by taking margins on the orders placed on its platform. On the other hand, It handles a diverse range of products, including backpacks, fashion footwear, arts and crafts.

Likewise, it also sells products such as books, high-performance springs, furniture, musical instruments, and nonperishable products like cosmetics.