Information Technology

JustNow: The App that helps Africa save Food Waste and Money

Written by VELLIEUX

Tell us a few words about the founders and how the idea came : 

  • Alexandre Vellieux is the founder of JustNow and a senior international manager with 15 years of experience in Auditing, management of IT branches and Supply Chain. He graduated in 2015 with an Executive MBA in Corporate Management and Strategies at ESCPEurope in Paris.
  • Brad Constantinescu is the CTO of JustNow, and has been doing project based software development & management for the past 10 years, with a track record in AI & Data Mining applications. Besides JustNow, Brad co-owns Stone Soup Technologies, a US software development and media agency, for which he’s acting President and CTO. Brad has a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Bucharest. Brad is also a mentor for the Barclays TechStars accelerator in Cape Town.
  • Why JustNow?

“Finish your plate Alexandre”!

This is probably one of the sentences I heard most as a child! The others were more loving of course, but it cannot emphasize more the importance of respecting food when so many people cannot have enough to eat around the world. As a matter of fact, I grew up in a family who loves good, gastronomic food. But for us, this pleasure means not wasting it. This is part of our values and our principles, in a world of scarce resources for some of us and increasing prices for basic products.

This is how the idea came about: seeing so many fresh foods that were expiring the same day in groceries shops here in South Africa. We wanted to help people who cannot afford food anymore and to reduce waste faced by not only food retailers but which is also the responsibility of everyone as a whole…

From a business perspective, R61.5bn are being lost every year on wasted food while over 11 million people still go hungry in South Africa! Not only that we tap into an untouched market worth R61.5bn, saving business money, but we also enable people to eat better and cheaper, while preventing food waste.

Your products and services :

JustNow is a system which helps both large and small businesses to save money while increasing revenue and client engagement. JustNow aims to reduce fresh food waste by making use of a smart advertising mobile application. Offers for products that are about to go off the shelf, to expire or to lose their freshness or appeal are being broadcasted live to consumers that have the Just Now application installed and match the right shopper profile.

We offer:

  • A mobile application for consumers – users can search for offers and get recommendations. This enables a new sales and marketing channel and increases shopper engagement.
  • An application for merchandisers – offers fast, easy, hassle free product stock tracking and promotion creation.
  • A management dashboard – useful for business overview, as well as user, stock and promotion management.
  • A system that seamlessly integrates with your accounting and register software for less work and better management.

Your success factors

We have mainly 2 key success factors that can be divided into several points:

  • The first one is carried by our vision and what drives us to strongly believe in our solution:
    • we aim to help the (global) population getting access to good fresh food at a lower cost;
    • we want to optimize sales, reduce cost and reduce waste for the retailers and all food providers;
    • by providing to the both of them a great, easy and seamless experience when using the product.
  • As an Information Technology service provider, we use critical KPIs to measure and analyze success through the following traction metrics:
    • Amount of active users
    • Amount of claimed offers / transactions
    • Number of shops
    • Number of available offers / active offers
    • Covered area – nation wide / global availability

Your factors differentiating and disruptive compared to the existing

 From a product / service perspective (Unique Selling Proposition):

  • Locally: No competitor exists nor proposes the same product or services. This is completely disruptive in South Africa and in Southern Africa.
  • Globally / general level:
    • Our system seamlessly integrates with the retailer store systems and thus provides NO significant overhead for the shops / sellers;
    • JustNow offers a merchandiser application that makes life easy for merchant to create, update and track offers;
    • Our app is easy to use, and relies on preexisting customer behavior in the shopping experience. Users just get the JustNow offer codes scanned at the till in order to get the discount;
    • No need for dedicated shelves/space inside the shop for showing our products.

Your business model (how do you make money?)

JustNow generates revenue in three ways:

  • Monthly subscription per store depending on store size, amount of users/clients and daily/monthly offers;
  • Commission for online sales: each offer claimed and paid in the JustNow app will generate a commission;
  • (In the near future) Charge per Business Intelligence, competitive insights and AI optimizations – per business and shop – data mining, trends, predictions and analytics on customers’ behavior, offer optimization.

 A few words about your competitors

Locally (South Africa / Africa) there is no competitor. Food distributors try to promote fresh food before it reaches the expiry dates but initiatives depend on each store only.

Globally a few startups have emerged in Europe, specifically in France (Optimiam, zero-gachis), UK (Too good to go), Denmark (Yourlocal) and in the US, that aim the same objectives through different sales channels or offers. Optimiam is the closest to our concept, while zero-gachis uses dedicated shelves inside the shops to present the products on promotions. Too good to go and the US startup Food for all target restaurants and cafes to provide a meal at a very low price. Yourlocal is a combination of the french and english startups. 

To learn more about you (website, twitter, video presentation …)

http://justnow.co

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VELLIEUX

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