Yebo Fresh is inspired by the need for transformation in the world of township shopping, as well as for making quality, fresh food and household goods accessible to all.
When lockdown first hit on 28 March 2020, we had been operating for little over a year as a young startup. The team consisted of six people back then and we were not prepared for the growth that hit us. However, we found ourselves in the ideal position to partner with a wide range of NGOs and Community Action Networks, to get food parcels out to those most in need.
At the same time, generous sponsors identified Yebo Fresh as a simple and safe way to send orders to their staff, township families and the communities that they cared about. All of this meant that we saw our volumes grow by thirty times almost overnight. Through the height of lockdown, together with our partners we managed to deliver over 85 000 food parcels all over the greater Cape Town area.
This growth both enabled and necessitated a move into our new 1,200 sqm warehouse. We now employ over 38 full-time employees, recruited from the communities that we serve. We built a strong business foundation in terms of systems, processes and work culture. We have a loyal customer base and have made valuable partnerships.
This increase in our scale and capacity brought new business opportunities; in the past few months we have ventured into serving local spazas, street vendors, township fast food restaurants, schools, ECDs, soup kitchens and other organisations. Each new segment comes with new challenges, many learnings, plenty of mistakes and some serious headaches. It is an incredibly rewarding and humbling journey.
Yebo Fresh is a tech startup that would not exist or be viable without mobile technology, smart backend systems, extensive data analysis and a constant drive to optimise our performance. Our orders are processed digitally and we use a combination of off-the shelf tools and customised technology for our production management, forecasting, delivery planning, price management and other core processes. Because we have to keep our prices and thus our margins low, being super smart and efficient in our operations is essential. For efficiency, planning and safety reasons we apply end-to-end tracking and tracing of our orders and drivers.
Meet the Team
Cape Town Head Office
Jessica founded Yebo Fresh in 2018 with a vision to supply township communities with affordable on-demand business and home grocery deliveries.
She spearheads the continuous growth of the brand which now delivers groceries to almost every major township in Cape Town.
Catherine Waldemar Brown
Head of Buying
Catherine has been with the Yebo Fresh team since inception building lasting relationships with farmers and food suppliers across the country along the way.
She specialises in understanding local consumer demand for different brands and is famous for negotiating the best prices for Yebo Fresh’s customers.
Head of Operations
She’s the brains behind all of our internal production, logistics planning and warehouse staff hiring. She’s currently completing an MBA, speaks multiple languages and has an impressive background in the product engineering industry.
Customer Experience Manager
Faith is responsible for customer service and is often seen wearing a microphone headset, ready and waiting to direct incoming customer calls and messages.
From ordering to payment, packing and delivery Faith and her team ensures the entire process is perfectly run resulting in many happy customers.
H.R & People Operations
Chief Operating Officer
Techie and Chief Operating Officer Mike Jones joined the team with a background in coding and business development.
Around the office he is known for his extraordinary sense of humour (even on Mondays). He’s passionate about the concept of scaling in tech start-ups, particularly companies with an interest in providing business solutions to areas affecting marginalised or low-income communities.
Chief Financial Officer
Head Of Special Projects
Simon oversees an array of projects related to NGO’s and small businesses.
As Head of Special Projects at Yebo Fresh he works closely with operational teams to ensure that the scope of the project fits the budget and that members involved complete each phase of the project within the scheduled timeline.
Experienced in planning, negotiating and sales, Simon organises, leads, and helps execute company projects which may fall outside the scope of regular duties.
Aqeem joined the team with a background in coding, WordPress development and digital marketing, specifically paid media. He oversees the websites frontend and product master data for all Yebo Fresh’s product offerings while working closely with all departments in the business to achieve accurate catalogue information for online shopping and marketing.
FMCG Project Manager
Tichafara grew into the Sales Manager role less than a year after joining the Yebo Fresh team as a junior staffer.
His analytical mind and insight into consumer buying and decision making patterns are what he is most widely known for.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Ticha has a background in NPO fundraising and social-good projects.
Onwards and upwards.
Our Series A investment was completed in August 2020 and we have started to apply this funding to increase both our local footprint, (we now deliver all over greater Cape Town) as well as the products we offer. At the same time we have been able to expand the expertise of our team and further strengthen our fulfillment capability.
We are excited that on the 3rd of December, Yebo Fresh was selected as one of the top 5-winners of HeavyChef’s ‘South Africa’s most exciting startups 2020’ list.
We are currently preparing for National Expansion and a next growth fundraise in the first half of 2021.
“While a lot of tech businesses in South Africa seem to exist despite the crippling poverty and inequality in the country, Yebo Fresh is a tech startup that exists in response to and in support of those for whom delivery is not a luxury but a lifesaver.
Cheryl Kahla – Writer at TheSouthAfrican.com