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- By Joseph Patterson
Estonian startup BANTgo with two Belarusian founders and one American founder has raised their first check for $ 50,000 from the 450,000 pre-seed round. The startup’s valuation is $4.5 million.
BANTgo has created a sustainable food delivery platform for cafes, restaurants, and businesses that serve healthy foods. Co-founder and Co-CEO(EU) of the startup, Sergey Zhiltsov notes that their innovations are not only utilized on micro-electric vehicles, but also on autonomous delivery vehicles.
The platform works on request and by subscription: you order the food through our app or partner apps, and couriers deliver the order on a fleet of vehicles that are designed to mobilize brands and deliver Out-Of-HOme (OOH) digital advertising for the order being delivered. The EVs and autonomous delivery vehicles also dynamically display non-competitive, location-based advertising in real-time, based on the demographics and preferences of the residents of a specific neighborhood which helps generate more revenue for our delivery couriers, restaurants and advertisers. The founders believe that mobile offline advertising significantly increases conversions and such customer acquisition is cheaper for the business.
In addition, the startup provides a service for accepting materials for recycling – packaging containers, plastic dishes, batteries and even small electronics: all this can be handed over to the courier when he arrives with the next order.
The guys also support the use of reusable tableware in food delivery. They are confident that in this way they will realize “waste management for individuals” and will enhance the social effect.
Ex-Belarusian project: business and officials in Grodno are not interested
BANTgo was talked about a lot a year ago – at that time, as a Belarusian startup. Onliner wrote that the startups “are planning a mini-electric car rental service for utilities and delivery operators.”
Electric cars were supposed to be leased to private businesses and city services, combining the service with a mobile application of its own design. “The ultimate goal is to remove fossil-fueled utility and commercial vehicles from city streets.” And the application itself was needed to order a car.
But business and officials did not show much interest in the project, so the guys made a pivot, created a new legal entity in Estonia and attracted another co-founder from the United States.
– Yes, they wrote a lot about us, but not really about what we actually do. It’s not about the production of micro EVs, – says Sergey.
Unfortunately, our market is not ready for the implementation of environmental solutions, both from the point of view of consumers and investment in development, especially if the project has an iron component (in the case of BANTgo, this is a chip which we are developing to control service functions on vehicles).
Now BANTgo’s scheme of work is as follows: Couriers subscribe to ready-made micro-mobility vehicles and app, BANTgo also supplies them with its IoT chip and displays, which in total provides a ready-made business unit for the restaurant or independent delivery courier.
The scheme was tested all last winter in Grodno, Belarus. In fact, our Co-Founder based in Belarus himself was the courier.
In the summer, work in Belarus was turned off – the guys moved to Tallinn, Estonia and within 2 months they will start again to generate revenue with agreements with three vegetarian restaurants, which will be served by 5 adtech-enabled micro-EVs.
Sergey Zhiltsov describes the plans as follows:
- in 2021, complete testing of the technical prototype – screen, chip and control software;
- open an R&D center for 20 employees in Estonia;
- create the first “cell” in Europe and US – 50 microcars + 100 couriers;
- And scale the business from there on.
A back-office will remain in Belarus, which will support the R&D center in Estonia.