[R] Startup19 - Assets

Sendy: AWS Startup Stories Notes from Founders Vol1

Amazon Web Services Resources EMEA

Issue link: https://emea-resources.awscloud.com/i/1146508

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2 STARTUP STORIES Notes from Founders: Sendy 'I first learned about Sendy when the founders approached me for funding' I used to work at a venture capital firm called Savannah Fund, which had invested in logistics startups in the past. Logistics is a huge problem in most developing countries and is one of the reasons that food and products are so expensive. I met the Sendy co-founders Meshack Alloys, Evanson Biwott and Don Okoth when they were pitching their idea at Pivot East in the summer of 2014. The team had been together for one month and had created a simple app and GPS trackers on about 50 drivers. Through the app, you could monitor drivers' whereabouts and contact them. One of the reasons Meshack started the company is because his mother was ripped off by one of the informal motorcycle (Boda Boda) guys. He'd run off with money for cement and never returned with the cement or the money. So, it was a question of: 'How do we trust these taxis and how do we know they're doing what they say?' 'We went to a golf tournament as part of the vetting process for Sendy' Meshack, Don, and Evanson set up a small booth at a golf tournament. They were offering free candy and fliers that said 'Delivery got Simpler'. Usually at these events, people come for the free candy and walk away. But with Sendy, people showed genuine interest and started asking questions, saying: 'This is amazing. I'd use this for my business.' The golf tournament is what convinced me that their idea was going to be way bigger than I originally thought and I wanted to be more involved. 'A deal was made over dinner in Nairobi' The founders approached me about joining their team and I went out to dinner with Meshack. One of my biggest concerns about leaving Savannah Fund was compensation. Sendy had no money and I had no savings and a load of student debt. So we took two napkins, wrote down how we were going to pay ourselves and sketched out a business plan. That was the negotiating dinner and it gave me the confidence to quit my job. I started working with my co-founders in September 2014 and officially joined the team in January 2015 for our product launch. To this day, Meshack has one napkin and I have the other.

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