Lagos-based startup smallChops is planning on expanding to other cities in Nigeria and across Africa having seen an average 20 per cent month-on-month growth since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Formed in August 2016 and first reported way back in 2017, smallChops allows users to order different finger food – “small chops” – packages straight to their homes or any location of their choosing through its website and other channels like WhatsApp, Instagram, and a call centre.
Founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Uche Ukonu told Disrupt Africa what started because of a single inconvenience had morphed into a vision-driven brand.
“Our initial model was to aggregate orders from the internet and push to verified vendors to produce, but we faced the same issues as all marketplace-based food delivery business models – operational and logistical setbacks with managing the entire process,” he said.
“Without the funding to stay afloat, we backward integrated and started to produce the finger foods ourselves, giving us control over the entire value chain, from order placement to delivery.”
This change in approach has prompted significant growth, especially since COVID-19, with revenue increasing steadily and smallChops now having an ARR of over US$100,000. The startup has so far served just under 20,000 customers.
“Our dream has now become to boost local economies, by building trustworthy relatable brands around largely offline locally available finger foods and snacks, using technology and media, and acting as a buffer between these local finger foods vendors and an increasingly online audience,” Ukonu said.
Having perfected its model in Lagos, smallChops is now actively looking for partners to expand into other cities in Nigeria, and Africa, in the near future.