Bakkiefy plugs gap in market
The transportation space in the country has been hit by a goods removal mobile app called Bakkiefy.
The app is an invention of two friends and business partners who found themselves stranded when they could not get a bakkie for hire to move a fridge from Joburg CBD to an apartment in Randburg.
It is the brainchild of Skhibela Mohlala, 30, from Jane Furse in Limpopo and Darlington Sibanda, 30, from Zimbabwe.
They invented the app to enable those who are relocating to access the removal service at the click of a button.
The Bakkiefy app also provides mechanisms to match up those seeking help to move larger, medium or smaller items to short or long distances with a relevant bakkie size.
It joins the existing mobile transportation apps such as Uber and Taxify.
Mohlala said that they were left in shock when he and Sibanda struggled to find a bakkie and a driver that they even gave up last year.
He further explained that the incident motivated them to embark on a year-long self-funded research and development phase. They have already spent more than R80,000 on the project.
Today they manage about 200 bakkie owners including a fleet of trucks and vans that are contracted to them and have already hit the ground running. The app will be launched officially in November.
"We enlisted a team of highly capable developers and began with the design, development and imminent implementation of the Bakkiefy app."
Mohlala attributes their business success to a desire to create employment opportunities in the country and the platforms for historically disadvantaged people to access the larger economy.
He explained: "As black entrepreneurs in a country with unemployment rate as high as ours, myself and Sibanda believe that it is the duty of people like us, who had the privilege to get educated, to create opportunities for those that didn't, so that their children can essentially redefine lineages."
His desire is to become one of the people who will contribute in turning around SA's ailing economy by taking advantage of the business opportunities presented in the country.
"With my in-depth understanding of what people in places like where I come from go through, it is no wonder that my focus is on job creation and community upliftment, and Bakkiefy is the app to do just that," said Mohlala.
Mohlala further said that he discovered a need and a market for the Bakkiefy in countries like Nigeria while he was on a work trip in Lagos, adding that the app is set apart from other competitor apps as it enables users and drivers to negotiate a fair price without any interference.
"Drivers will not charge exorbitant amounts because as part of the development drivers were trained in terms of fair per kilometre costs, standard AA rates and load limitations, so that users can be assured that the drivers are charging according to standard industry rates."
Sibanda said he is happy that the hard work they put in the project is finally paying off, noting that it has been a financially challenging project, but now they are happy they have pulled it off.
The pair also operates other businesses including Azania Fibre, SA's one-stop home and business internet solutions company, as well as another business called Through The Eye Media.