Moving around can get quite difficult at times, especially when you live in a busy city in Lagos and have something really big or heavy to move. From getting the truck and negotiating the deal, not everyone find it an easy task and TruQ was set up for this purpose.
In less than a year of launching, the logistics tech company is gradually showing itself to be the Uber for moving loads around. One can easily access the platform and locate an available truck to come move loads, just like you do with Uber and Taxify.
So, “even if you can go to the vehicle park to get a sizeable truck to move your things, and negotiate the price, why would you want to do that when you can easily use the TruQ platform, get it done and at a better price without breaking a sweat?” co-founder and CEO TruQ, Williams Fatayo asks during the Nairametrics Business Half Hour show.
How it started
The start of TruQ (pronounced truck) can be traced back to July 2019 when Foluso Ojo and Williams Fatayo (now co-founders) decided to move a wardrobe from Lekki down to Berger on the mainland. Fatayo remembers that they spent four days before getting a vehicle and moving it down.
“After that experience, we felt it could not have been peculiar to us alone, so we did a targeted survey and discovered that so many other businesses had experienced same. About 373 said they had experienced it at least twice a month, while other 127 experienced it once a month or thereabout. That marked the beginning of the TruQ journey,” Fatayo said.
Almost immediately, they started working on the idea of connecting people who needed a vehicle to move anything. Leveraging on social media platforms, they were able to complete about 180 moves ever before getting an active website hosted. All of these moves started in the second half of 2019, but TruQ did not launch until February 2020 when the co-founders came on board full-time, after meeting with the third co-founder, a Zimbabwean, during a trip to the world youth forum start-up labs in Egypt.
Without owning any truck, TruQ has in less than a year been able to get the on-demand logistics platform off the ground, allowing vehicle and truck owners to sign up and interact with people who need their services. The logistics tech company now has about 9 truck companies it partners with, and about 78 individual truck owners. It is now a smarter, faster, easier way to do what you have done over the years.
With the increased number of trips the drivers get, their vehicles hardly sit idle in the garage, so they can afford to reduce their rates to accommodate the volume. TruQ operates a shared profit commission-based model where it earns a commission off every trip.
Jumping the loops
The market TruQ serves is all-encompassing with a driver base of varying level of literacy – from the graduate driver to the almost illiterate driver – and providing a tech solution for such a market can require a lot of input than others. The ever-busy nature of Lagos roads also poses its own challenge to the team.
Since the model operated does not require the company to own any truck, it was easy for the founders to bootstrap at the beginning to get it started while still keeping a job. In February 2020, they went all in and have sustained the momentum after pushing through the COVID-19 pandemic challenge.
After nine months of operation, TruQ won an accelerator programme that gives them access to $100,000 in cash and kind, and this fund will now drive the scaling plans over the next couple of months, even as they work towards a fundraising drive to further expand.
How secure are the goods with TruQ
To guarantee the security of all goods moved with TruQ, the company has an onboarding process with comprehensive KYC on the drivers. The vehicles are verified, the guarantors and the drivers as well.
“For the people, we are making sure you have no issues with them and for the process, we are making sure you are covered and your goods are secured,” Fatayo said.
There is also a smart integration with google maps that helps users and drivers to see in real-time the driver’s location as he moves the goods from pickup to dropoff.
There is an insurance arrangement in place for B2Bs to secure all their goods, and there are plans to integrate another insurance arrangement for B2Cs, which will insure everything from pickup to dropoff. This is all part of keeping the customer happy and satisfied.
As a company that is user obsessed and determined to solve as many logistics-related problems for its clients, TruQ has a couple of other bespoke products in the pipeline, including a “house-move product that fits all of your house move needs into a single package from packing, moving and unboxing, disbanding large properties and helping to assemble them at the new location.”
“We are trying to infuse ourselves around as many pain points around logistics. We want to make sure we are solving users’ problems as much as we can in ways no one else is doing and leave the users to choose what works best for them. The goal for us is to address the users problem and leverage on our technology and core advantages to steal as much market share as possible,” Fatayo added.
Lagos is the market entrance for the company, as there are future plans to scale to other locations within and outside Nigeria.