Who ever thought the challenge of getting a cake for a loved one could lead to a thriving business venture? This is the story of Ayilara Olatunde, CEO of WaraCake, an e-commerce startup that allows customers order cakes and other confectionaries from the comfort of their homes and offices. Ayilara has a Bsc in Accounting and Management, a degree he would no doubt find handy as he makes his way through the corridors of the Nigerian business environment while spreading the gospel of delicious tasting deserts.
StartupNigeria: We have followed the progress of Waracake from a distance for quite some time, the world has watched you sprout as you gain traction. However, we would like to know how it all began?
Ayilara: It all began when I tried to get a cake for my aunt in Lagos. In the process of transportation, I found out that I had destroyed the beautiful design on it before I could deliver it home. This immediately opened my eyes to an opportunity that needed to be explored.
StartupNigeria: We understand that you bootstrapped for a relatively long period before you were able to get seed funding. What was the journey like?
Ayilara: We initially launched in stealth mode and it was a bit of a struggle as we had been bootstrapping for a long while before we had some seed funding. Since then, we have been making headway and currently logistics is not a major challenge anymore as we are constantly improving on what we presently have. StartupNigeria: What are your customers saying about you?
Ayilara: The customers love what we have to offer and it’s really amazing to see Nigerians have more confidence in online shopping. We have had several people purchase cakes for their loved ones in Nigeria from us from different parts of the world without getting into panic mode or worrying if the product would get delivered on time. We have also had some press coverage, we have been featured on the International business times, Good morning Nigeria show on Cool TV, Disrupt Africa and the likes.
StartupNigeria: Do you think the government can do more to boost the startup community in Nigeria if so, how?
Ayilara: Yes. I think the government should really look into the educational system in Nigeria. We should have a system that grooms people not just to be employees but employers of labor. Organizations like AIESEC Nigeria which is present in most Nigerian universities is already doing this. Much support for such organizations should be made available by the government. If the base is well laid, the rest will even out.
Waracake was initially seeded by the passion incubator and was subsequently able to attract funding from former Konga executive Onyeka Akumah. The startup is currently operational in Abuja, Lagos, Edo and Ogun state.