Simon Hartley’s courier app began with baby poo.
In 2013, he founded WumDrop with Roy Borole – both of them were tired of working for bosses. Their idea was to sell products with a never-ending market. Like coffins. But they speedily moved “from the business of death to the business of life”, says Hartley, and started delivering nappies.
With a small budget, they created an app customers could use to request a delivery. WumDrop’s drivers started to nip around Cape Town in cars and on scooters, picking up packages within an hour of an order being logged, and delivering them within two hours.
There is an incentive to get the job done: the 39 drivers take between 50 and 67 percent of the payments and are partnered with a programme that lets them ultimately buy their vehicles.
Borole left the company in 2015, but by then the business had expanded from nappies to general deliveries, and was also operating in Johannesburg and Pretoria. WumDrop won the 2014 MTN Best South African Android App and the MTN App of the Year and Best Overall App in 2015.
Hartley counts himself lucky to have had access to funders and support, a problem for many South African startups.
Find Hartley on Twitter: @Wumdrop