After grabbing the ringing phone at Acapulco Mexican Grill and Bar in the centre of Addis Ababa, owner Abel Wondowsen quickly scribbles an order for quesadillas and tacos on a pad of paper. Soon a bundle of wrapped food is on the counter awaiting a motorbike dispatcher from Deliver Addis.
Western-styled restaurant home delivery – especially involving Mexican food – is a relatively new concept in the Ethiopian capital, even more so across the country. Hence when Deliver Addis founder Feleg Tsegaye moved to Ethiopia from the US five years ago, he despaired at being unable to order home delivery after a long work day.“So I put together a quick website, talked to a couple of restaurants, hired a motorcycle for a month and invited about 30 people to use it,” Tsegaye says of his experiment in March 2015. “I just wanted to be lazy and not have to cook in the evening. It backfired badly as this is the most busy I’ve been in my life.”
Tsegaye is far from alone in finding his business idea take off. Across Africa a vibrant start-up scene is transforming economies and lifestyles. Tech start-ups alone raised US$129m in Africa during 2016, representing a 16.8% rise in the number of successfully funded start-ups over 2015, according to a new report from Nairobi-based Disrupt Africa, an online media site providing news, information and commentary on Africa’s tech start-up and investment scene.