New Investments

South African Shipping Startup TUNL Secures $1 Million for Expansion

TUNL, a South African e-commerce logistics platform, has secured $1 million in pre-seed funding to tackle exorbitant international shipping costs and empower local businesses.

The investment, led by Founders Factory Africa, Digital Africa Ventures, E4E Africa, and Jozi Angels, will fuel TUNL’s expansion within South Africa and pave the way for entry into other key African and emerging markets.

Founded in 2022 by CEO Matthew Davey and COO Craig Lowman, TUNL was launched out of Davey’s firsthand experience with the inefficiencies and high costs of international shipping.

Recognizing the challenge faced by e-commerce merchants, particularly SMEs, TUNL aims to level the playing field with a transparent and democratized pricing model.

“Cross-border shipping in Africa results in an estimated annual loss of $50 billion for businesses,” Davey explains.

“Even high-quality goods like textiles and camera accessories can be priced out due to exorbitant shipping fees, despite the presence of major couriers. TUNL partners with these same couriers, like UPS and FedEx, but negotiates favorable rates and offers significant cost savings to our merchants – up to 50% to 75% for SMEs.”

On the TUNL platform, merchants can offer customers flexible shipping options at checkout. This includes an “economy” option with shipping costs built into the product price, enabling free delivery via TUNL’s courier service with a slightly longer timeframe.  

Since its launch, the platform has experienced a 35% month-on-month increase, boasting over 700 merchants and facilitating over 8,000 international parcels in 2023, representing R19.5 million worth of exports from South Africa.

With monthly revenue approaching $60,000, TUNL plans to utilize the funding to enhance merchant onboarding, streamline the platform’s user experience, and drive sales growth.  

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