CAPE TOWN - OneCart is a South African based on-demand grocery concierge and delivery service.
The online shopping and delivery service was created by Founder Lynton Peters and his partner serial entrepreneur Ariel Navarro.
The company began in Johannesburg in January this year and just had its launch in Cape Town at the beginning of August 2018.
Peters described the company as an "Uber for groceries" and according to their website the company's main mission is be South Africa’s most trusted and respected fast moving consumer goods market-place and logistics platform.
The company aims to do this by providing the "ultimate convenience and flexibility to the online consumer".
OneCart partners with malls and their retailers to ensure that they provide this convenience and flexibility without an added price burden to the consumer.
The company ensures that their professional shoppers are trained to pick the best ingredients as per your orders.
The people behind the platform
Peters was born in Durban and studied electronic engineering at the University of Natal.
The Founder and chief executive of OneCart said that he always had a passion for business and creating a service offering that fulfils a need in society while disrupting the status quo.
"With the advance of the on-demand economy I do believe that consumers want a better or more convenient way of doing things, and we aim and create that for consumers", Peters said.
It was during his time in Singapore that he had the initial idea for OneCart.
"I lived in Singapore and used to take a cab every week to buy my groceries. I just thought that it would great if I could do it online and spend my weekends or evenings doing things I preferred instead of grocery shopping."
"When I moved back to South Africa, I felt the same and saw the need for an effective way to buy groceries and essentials online, which could simulate the way that consumers actually shop offline."
Peters has always worked in the innovation field in both Singapore and South Africa and has assisted Companies in this space with innovation and strategy and also in getting innovation incentives from government.
The CEO has always been involved in innovation eco-systems and this foundation helped him start-up OneCart.
Co-founder and chief operating officer of OneCart, Ariel Navarro, said that he too has always had a passion for business and has worn many hats over several vastly different businesses over the years.
The 29-year-old began his career in the health & fitness industry, which then lead him into the property industry where he managed a portfolio of shopping centers throughout South Africa’s townships.
It seems the business gene runs in his family as his parents own a number of pet stores in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Navarro moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg in 2016 and helped streamline the family business’ POS systems and introduced the company into the digital age.
The COO also co-founded the tech eco-system enabler Entrepreneur Traction in Cape Town, which aims at bringing collaboration between tech start-ups, investors, and global leaders.
“South Africa being a unique landscape is an exciting challenge for us.” It takes a lot of courage to start a business, but it also takes a level of fear of failure to drive you to succeed, Navarro added.
Navarro used his expertise and network in the tech start-up space to link up with Peters. "At first I was very skeptical because I understood the complexity around the business model however, over time Lynton and I kept in contact and the idea of partnering grew into something more tangible."
"The enthusiasm that Lynton had for OneCart always stuck with me and I always felt we had great synergy."
This "impossible idea" seemed to have just the right amount of crazy as the company, earlier this year, secured an large seed investment from an international private investor. Prior to that, the business was bootstrapped by Lynton.
Navarro said that while the company is seeing consistent 80-100 percent growth month on month since November 2017, it has not always been smooth sailing.
"Lynton and I were both working two jobs during the initial launch phase where we were hustling and not drawing a salary as we wanted to put everything into the business. It was tough and while we had offers of investment, there was nothing concrete."
Navarro admitted that the team were close to giving in several times but agreed "let's just fund this for one more month and see what happens. Five days later, the company secured their multi-million rand deal.
It is perhaps an example of not giving up and hustling to the very end, only to reach the beginning, Navarro added.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE