SA entrepreneurs launch human-centric marketplace

SA entrepreneurs launch human-centric marketplace
SA entrepreneurs launch human-centric marketplace

Local online marketplace, Vendo, joins forces with The Courier Guy to get ready for their official launch at the end of April. The easy and accessible e-commerce solution was created to help South Africans who lost their jobs to Covid-19 sell just about anything online.

Since going live with its beta in November 2020, Vendo has quickly become a favourite online shopping destination among many local shoppers and small businesses, with some even saying they’ve “never had a more pleasant online shopping experience” (Nalati Mare, Online Shopper)

Vendo is setting out to build what they would like to call the “eBay of Africa”.

We are going to change the way shoppers find, interact with, and purchase from small local businesses by creating the biggest open online shopping portal in Africa,” says Stefan Maritz, the 28-year-old founder from Cape Town. “A marketplace where the small businesses of SA get to enjoy the spotlight and create a community to rival even the biggest players in the industry – together building an online marketplace where shoppers can buy anything from handmade jewellery and homemade candles to the latest and greatest tech.”

Cutting out the middleman and allowing vendors to receive and manage orders directly, Vendo is creating an environment where local consumers interact with businesses they would have never found on the internet. By giving vendors a fully functional online shop, connected to a national marketplace, they completely remove the need for vendors to know how to build webshops, do SEO and effectively promote themselves on platforms like Facebook and Google. Vendo brings the customers while allowing its community of vendors to focus on their business and products.

How does it work?

When a purchase is made on Vendo, the order goes straight to the local vendor and the shopper gets to interact directly with the business owner while Vendo’s system, processes, and customer service team is there to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Taking a “human-centric” approach, Vendo sets out to remove the anxiety that many South Africans experience when shopping online. Using Whatsapp as their primary method of communication, they are praised for their personal touch and approach to keeping customers up to date every step of the way (Read what shoppers say about their experience here).

From secure online payments using local solutions like Yoco, Ozow and Zapper, to subsidising and arranging shipping to help the vendors keep their costs down, Vendo is creating an environment where both shoppers and business owners can have a refreshing online shopping experience.

At the time of writing, 291 local businesses have already turned to Vendo as an affordable and convenient e-commerce solution, with many vendors establishing their presence on Vendo as a more affordable alternative to selling on Takealot. Together, they have already loaded 5713 products across a wide range of categories of just about everything shoppers would expect to find on an online marketplace, including wines from 32 local wine farms.

Even with the ball rolling and new vendors adding new products daily, Vendo’s team is only getting started. They are already getting ready to launch in Namibia, with Botswana to follow soon after, from where they will continue to build on the same model until they can merge the markets and expand to more neighbouring countries.

Together with Courier Guy and Pudo, we are determined to make cross-border shopping in Africa a reality in the near future, allowing even street- and fleamarket vendors to reach an audience unlike anything they have ever had access to,” says Stefan.

Vendo wants to encourage South Africans to support local and buy from small businesses who desperately need it after the devastating effects of the Covid pandemic.

Local businesses can sign up and sell their products on Vendo for free, without limitations and only pay a small commission fee when a sale is made. Each vendor is vetted for legitimacy and assisted to set up their shop, from where shoppers can find and purchase directly from them on the marketplace.

To find out what Vendo is all about, visit

Want to add your shop or looking for more information, contact the team at [email protected]