TUNL Secures $1 Million Funding To Accelerate Growth Of Its Exports Platform


TUNL, a South African parcel shipping platform, has successfully raised $1 million in pre-seed funding from various investors, including Founders Factory Africa, Digital Africa Ventures, E4E Africa, and Jozi Angels. The funding will be instrumental in propelling its expansion within South Africa and paving the way for its entry into other key African and emerging markets.

Key Takeaway

TUNL secures

million in pre-seed funding to drive the expansion of its cost-effective international shipping platform, addressing the significant challenges faced by e-commerce merchants in South Africa and beyond.

Empowering E-commerce Merchants

Founded in 2022 by CEO Matthew Davey and COO Craig Lowman, TUNL aims to address the challenges faced by e-commerce merchants in the realm of international shipping costs. The platform claims to offer substantial cost savings, ranging between 50% and 80% on international shipping expenses for e-commerce businesses.

Identifying Market Needs

The inception of TUNL was inspired by the personal experience of Davey, who encountered significant hurdles in shipping South African engineering materials to Europe. This experience shed light on the widespread issue of exorbitant shipping costs, particularly for smaller businesses in emerging markets like South Africa.

Addressing Shipping Cost Challenges

The current landscape presents a substantial obstacle for African businesses, with an estimated annual loss of $50 billion due to cross-border shipping challenges. TUNL’s founders recognized a recurring issue among small- and medium-sized South African merchants, particularly during the pandemic, where shipping costs often exceeded the value of their products.

Revolutionizing Shipping Options

TUNL has revolutionized the shipping options available to merchants, offering partnerships with courier services such as UPS and FedEx. This strategic approach has enabled TUNL to subsidize SMEs’ shipping costs by 50% to 75%, fostering a more equitable and transparent pricing model.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Merchants on the TUNL platform can now provide customers with a range of shipping options during checkout, including an “economy” option with shipping costs integrated into the product price. This innovative approach aims to reduce cart abandonment during checkouts, offering customers flexibility and potentially improving conversion rates.

Expanding International Reach

Since its inception, TUNL has witnessed remarkable growth, with over 700 merchants and a 35% month-on-month increase. The platform primarily serves merchants shipping to the U.S., the U.K., Europe, and Australia, with over 8,000 international parcels shipped in 2023, representing exports from South Africa worth R19.5 million.

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