Yebo Fresh is inspired by the need for transformation in the world of township shopping, as well as for making quality, fresh food and household goods accessible to all.
When lockdown first hit on 28 March 2020, we had been operating for little over a year as a young startup. The team consisted of six people back then and we were not prepared for the growth that hit us. However, we found ourselves in the ideal position to partner with a wide range of NGOs and Community Action Networks, to get food parcels out to those most in need.
At the same time, generous sponsors identified Yebo Fresh as a simple and safe way to send orders to their staff, township families and the communities that they cared about. All of this meant that we saw our volumes grow by thirty times almost overnight. Through the height of lockdown, together with our partners we managed to deliver over 85 000 food parcels all over the greater Cape Town area.
This growth both enabled and necessitated a move into our new 1,200 sqm warehouse. We now employ over 38 full-time employees, recruited from the communities that we serve. We built a strong business foundation in terms of systems, processes and work culture. We have a loyal customer base and have made valuable partnerships.
This increase in our scale and capacity brought new business opportunities; in the past few months we have ventured into serving local spazas, street vendors, township fast food restaurants, schools, ECDs, soup kitchens and other organisations. Each new segment comes with new challenges, many learnings, plenty of mistakes and some serious headaches. It is an incredibly rewarding and humbling journey.
Yebo Fresh is a tech startup that would not exist or be viable without mobile technology, smart backend systems, extensive data analysis and a constant drive to optimise our performance. Our orders are processed digitally and we use a combination of off-the shelf tools and customised technology for our production management, forecasting, delivery planning, price management and other core processes. Because we have to keep our prices and thus our margins low, being super smart and efficient in our operations is essential. For efficiency, planning and safety reasons we apply end-to-end tracking and tracing of our orders and drivers.
Meet the Team
Simon leads the sale of Yebo Fresh’s product offerings to Spaza’s and SMME’s by identifying leads, educating prospects on products through calls, trainings, and presentations, while providing existing customers with exceptional support.
David leads the sale of Yebo Fresh’s product offerings to Spaza’s and SMME’s by identifying leads, educating prospects on products through calls, trainings, and presentations, while providing existing customers with exceptional support.
Onwards and upwards
Our Series A investment was completed in August 2020 and we have started to apply this funding to increase both our local footprint, (we now deliver all over greater Cape Town) as well as the products we offer. At the same time we have been able to expand the expertise of our team and further strengthen our fulfillment capability.
We are excited that on the 3rd of December, Yebo Fresh was selected as one of the top 5-winners of HeavyChef’s ‘South Africa’s most exciting startups 2020’ list.
We are currently preparing for National Expansion and a next growth fundraise in the first half of 2021.
“While a lot of tech businesses in South Africa seem to exist despite the crippling poverty and inequality in the country, Yebo Fresh is a tech startup that exists in response to and in support of those for whom delivery is not a luxury but a lifesaver.
Cheryl Kahla – Writer at TheSouthAfrican.com