The next African you spot at an international airport with an ear-to-ear smile is most probably on a ‘Shypmate’ deal. Shypmate is a semi-formal delivery service firm based in San Mateo, California USA and run by four Africans – 3 Nigerians and 1 Ghanaian. Shypmate registered its presence in Africa a while ago but was officially launched yesterday, January 21, 2016.

The growing company renders a semi-formal service pattern often referred to as peer-to-peer, where people make orders online and have their goods bought and delivered to them by African travelers, who are headed towards that destination; within 5-10 days. These services have been attested to be reliable, affordable and fast too. With tons of successful transactions the thoughtful startup seems to be greatly appreciated by their indigenous West African countries-Nigeria and Ghana.

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Online shopping is a sector that is being gradually accepted and utilized in increasing amounts. From Africa you can make purchases from any where in the world but to have those things delivered to you as soon as you need them costs money, so when one is not buoyant enough, the next best option is to settle for free shipments which usually takes up to 30 days or more. That’s why firms like Shypmate have stepped into the scene to ease up the situation.

The company does not only have room for clients who make their orders online, no, there is also provision for people to become Shypmate travelers who serve as a vital medium through which shipments get to the consignees. These travelers under the Shypmate network can earn up to $300 for each delivery; plus given incentives to handle customers’ packages with utmost care. It works almost in the same manner as the way bill does.

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The founders – Chisom Ebinama, Kwadwo Nyarko, Perry Ogwuche and Tochukwu Okoro, as students in the United States understood the exorbitance and hurdles in making shipments to and fro Africa, and set their entrepreneurial spirits ablaze, using engineering and business acumen to fill in the gap. Thanks to them, travelling which costs money, now earns money for people as well.

This is how it works:

  • Go to their website and make your requests including the details of the things you want and the preferred airport/spot of delivery
  • Make your payments using Paypal
  • Meet up with the Shypmate traveler at the agreed place for your delivery.

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That simple! However it is only natural that you wonder about the security of the transactions being that it is not a pay on delivery system, well the increasing recommendations from people are there and in terms of the delivery personnel,

” Shypmate keeps a record of travelers- identification, traveling passport, and itinerary- on its file… Shypmate is collecting travelers’ Social Security numbers (everyone living in America has one) which allows a traveler, or anybody for that matter, to be tracked anywhere in the world. Travelers also need to be connected to various forms of social network like Facebook, LinkedIn etc where information about them can be collected.”- Techpoint

Adding to that, their travel-network works with referrals, as such, also serves as a good tool for expansion and publicity. Summariy, Shypmate is an innovative firm that makes delivery services fast, less expensive and saves customers the stress from custom services in home countries. At the moment they deliver services from the United States to Nigeria and Ghana; and vice versa.

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