UGANDA – Uganda based on-demand grocery delivery platform, Minute5, has moved to the AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud computing platform, in a bid to expand its offering for consumers and boost sales for small scale producers.

AWS is a subsidiary of Amazon providing a variety of basic abstract technical infrastructure and distributed computing building blocks and tools.

Founded in 2018, the eCommerce startup offers fresh food delivery directly from local farmers and markets to consumers.

With a fully-mobile functioning platform, the startup has established contactless payments, providing an innovative and easy-to-use service to consumers while creating an additional revenue stream for local smallholder farmers and markets.

Goods are delivered to customers via boda-boda drivers and orders are delivered directly to customers within 10-15 minutes of ordering via the online platform.

According to reports by Ventureburn, the move will further enhance the startup’s current offering and streamlines the customer journey.

“The move to AWS allowed us to scale up and put more products into the system, increase our own productivity and increase sales,” Jonathan Paul Katumba, Minute5 Co-founder and CEO explained.

So far it has reportedly secured more than 150 new customers, with 70 repeat customers, for a total of 540 regular customers.

The connection to the AWS platform was made by NTF IV, a Dutch government-funded project.

Minute5 plans to expand its business model by integrating the company into the supply-chain cycle and in turn boosting sales for small-scale producers and providing fresh produce to consumers.

“In this way, we can provide customers a convenient service while also helping local farmers. And since we collect consumption data, we can also advise those farmers on what food to grow in preparation for different food seasons,” said Katumba.

According to the startup, 40% of its produce is sourced from local farmers while the rest comes from local markets.

“The move to AWS allowed us to scale up and put more products into the system, increase our own productivity and increase sales.”

Jonathan Paul Katumba – Minute5 Co-founder and CEO

With plans to boost its small-scale farmer produce output, the startup plans to build easily accessible storage facilities for farmers’ produce and will double as a retail outlet.

This will in turn assist farmers in reducing their food waste and increase crop productivity as consumer demand rises.

Meanwhile, AgroCenta, a Ghanaian digital food distribution platform, has raised US$790,000 in Pre-Series A funding round from Shell Foundation, The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), AV Ventures, and Rabo Foundation.

Founded in 2016, the company operates a mobile merchanting platform known as CropChain which provides market information, storage & delivery solutions and financial services to smallholder farmers in Ghana, mainly handling white and yellow maize, rice, soybean, cowpeas, and sorghum.

The funding, according to the agri-tech starup will enable it to further develop its smallholder farmer inclusion programmes and procure crops at transparent and fair market prices to service offtake contracts.