Lynton Peters, front left, founder and chief executive of OneCart, and Ariel Navarro, co-founder and chief operating officer. Above from left are, Elizabeth (personal shopper), Lizzah (the shopper oracle), Andy (operations assistant), Sindi (personal shopper), and Nomvuyo (personal shopper).
DURBAN - WHEN Durban engineer Lynton Peters started his own online grocery shopping and delivery service at the beginning of this year, he had no idea what a hit it would be. Now the 31-year-old plans to expand nationally.

It’s like Uber for groceries. Not only will someone deliver the groceries to your door, a OneCart staffer does the shopping for you.

Wanting to make life more convenient for people, Peters created OneCart to allow a consumer to shop at a number of their favourite stores online, in one basket, with a single delivery fee per location.

The service can then deliver the items within two hours or scheduled with deliveries on the hour. He has trained shoppers who receive the order via the app in real time.

“OneCart customers are notified when the order is received, the shopper begins shopping, and then delivery is on the way,” he said.

Peters has partnered with Pick * Pay, Woolworths, Dischem, Clicks, Fitchef, and Pets by OneCart which offers pet food, as well as liquor stores.

“Like most people, I don’t enjoy grocery shopping and the experience of standing in queues, paying for parking or sitting in traffic. In a fast-paced world, especially when I lived and worked in Singapore, I noticed most professionals are in the office until the evening. They don’t have the time to go out and get the things they need,” said Peters, who is an electrical engineer.

He said this was one of the reasons which led to him creating OneCart.

“It played in my head for a long time and I thought that there are probably many young professionals, mums, dads and older people who probably have the same experiences. And that’s essentially how OneCart was born.”

Peters, who leads a busy lifestyle, first started his electrical engineering career in control systems engineering where he designed the control systems and electronics for trains.

“During this time I had the opportunity and privilege to work with experts from many countries, such as Sweden, the US and Japan. I also worked in Singapore for four years,” said Peters, who grew up in Newlands West.

He then decided to move back to South Africa in early 2016 to build a local research and development incentives practice. “It was during this time that I was conceptualising OneCart and the idea just wouldn’t leave me alone.

“We will be launching in Cape Town by October and Durban by or before the end of the year,” he said.