Nigeria’s Pricepally allows its customers to save by buying food in bulk

A customer receiving their Pricepally order

Pricepally is a Nigerian wholesale e-commerce platform. Leveraging shared economy principles, Pricepally enables consumers to buy food and wholesale products directly from producers, as well as sharing bulk purchases with other users for additional savings. The Lagos-based company was started in 2019 and recently received investment from GreenTec Capital Patners. Co-founder Mosunmola Lawoyin (32) answers our questions.

1. Give us your elevator pitch.

Pricepally is a digital food cooperative platform that enables families and businesses to buy food in bulk or share bulk food items with others. The food is sourced directly from farmers and wholesalers, making it cheaper and fresher than buying at retail outlets.

2. How did you finance your startup?

We financed our startup using personal funds at first. Then, later on, we had angel investments, grants and loans.

3. If you were given $1 million to invest in your company now, where would it go?

Customer acquisition and growth: We will invest in channels that directly impact customer growth and retention. We will reach and covert new customers via social media ads, offline advertising and boost our referral programme. In addition, we will assemble an on-the-ground marketing team to visit businesses (small food businesses, hotels, restaurants, etc) and convert them to Pricepally.

Contract farming and securing our supply chain: We will invest in food production by contracting farmers to grow food, which will enable us to sell food at lower prices directly to consumers. We will also widen and deepen our supplier network of smallholder farmers and wholesalers.

4. What risks does your business face?

Food scarcity and supply chain challenges. Natural disasters and climate change has been affecting food production more significantly in recent times. It is one of the biggest threats to food production in the world today. The food supply chain in Nigeria is fragile and unreliable; food prices can be very unstable.

A screenshot of the Pricepally mobile app

5. So far, what has proven to be the most successful form of marketing?

Social media marketing and referrals. Instagram works very well for us as well as targeted Google ads. Referrals are the best form of marketing, a satisfied customer telling others about your brand is the most powerful form of marketing.

6. Tell us about your biggest mistake.

Our biggest mistake was building the first platform without much user experience research. Our early adopters would call to be able to understand what Pricepally was all about. We noticed a lot of people came to the platform but only a few engaged. We had to pause, do some research and redesign the platform. Today it is much simpler and we have seen a drastic change in the level of engagement

7. In addition to your own industry, name one untapped business opportunity in Africa.

I think there is a huge opportunity for a personal shoppers’ platform. There are several individual personal shoppers across many social media platforms; aggregating them will bring a lot of value. Users can go through a list of personal shoppers who are available in different countries and have one assigned to him or her. The customer and designated personal shopper can shop physical stores using video chat.