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The BigFive Summit Speaker Series Episode 4: Kimberley Taylor, CEO, Loop

The BigFive Summit Speaker Series Episode 4: Kimberley Taylor, CEO, Loop

The BigFive Summit Speaker Series continues on the BIG5D Podcast with a unique young African tech founder's startup story featuring Loop CEO Kimberley Taylor

This podcast series is sponsored by The 2024 BigFive Summit

Welcome to Episode 4 of the BigFive Summit Speaker Series. This is a series of podcasts featuring conversations about Africa’s tech scene, empowering SMEs with technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, startup life, and much more featuring the incredible thought leaders who will speak at the 2024 BigFive Summit, 19-20 March in Cape Town.

In Episode 4, we chat with Kimberley Taylor, the Founder & CEO of Loop, a South African logistics tech startup. Loop provides route optimization software that helps organisations with in-house delivery fleets craft the most efficient routes.

The payoff from using Loop comes from cost savings from lower fuel usage, less wear and tear on vehicles, more efficient time usage by drivers, and so on. Loop emerged from a university project where Taylor was tasked with writing an algorithm to solve “the traveling salesman problem.”

Kimberley shares Loop’s from a unviersity class project to a full-fledged tech startup that works with brands like Domino’s Pizza. She also shares some of the personal challenges she has faced as a startup founder. These include learning how to have difficult conversations in real time, letting go of roles so others can contribute, and not being so concerned with being liked.

Interview Excerpts

The following are a few edited excerpts from our conversation with Kimberley. Please listen to the podcast to experience the full interview.

The Loop origin story

In my third year at university, we had a project. There was a question to solve the traveling salesman problem, which requires you to write a route optimization algorithm. Route optimization is just what is the best sequence to do a set of stops to drive the shortest distance. And that piqued my interest. And I wanted to know whether that was being used in the industry. I followed that curiosity throughout the end of my third year, to my fourth-year honors. I just saw a gap and thought, well, there's a piece of tech here that could assist this logistics and delivery space.

On acquiring Loop’s first customer while still at university

Domino's Pizza was our first client. I got the phone number of the IT exec at Tasty Holdings, who owned Domino's Pizza here in South Africa. I called them one day and managed to get through. It was August 2016. I was in my school in my fourth year and didn't have an investor. I can't remember exactly what I said. But it was something along the lines of, I'd love to take you through this product. He saw a gap in their B2C business. He said they were missing an application for their bike drivers.

On how running a startup changes your perspectives

I feel like running a business is such a lesson in letting go of people pleasing and needing to be liked. You know, it's such a journey of self-awareness.

Advice to Kimberley’s younger self

Have a little bit more fun. I also think being a woman in this in this space, it's been quite a transition. [The logistics industry is] very, very male. And so maybe don't take everything so personally…We think at times that it's male versus female, and that's not always what is happening in business. A lot of the time, we just have a human issue.

You can also enjoy this podcast on Apple and Spotify.

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Sponsored Message

This podcast series is sponsored by The 2024 BigFive Summit

African Tech Leaders to Share BigFive Summit Stage

Join our growing lineup of powerhouse speakers at the 2024 BigFive Summit, Africa’s leading small business technology event (19-20 March 2024 in Cape Town). Our lineup now includes Lunga Siyo, Lee Naik, Aisha Pandor, Khomotso Molabe, Lindelani Ramukumbu, Ashmita Singh, Denvor Daniels, Fiona Tabraham, Miranda Perumal, Simon Ellis, Zachariah George, Zach Marks, Kimberley Taylor, Meghan McCormick, Tanja De Korte, John Kitenge, and many others.

Organizations participating in the Summit (as speakers, sponsors, or delegates) will include Absa Group, Accenture, Telkom Consumer, Standard Bank Group, MTN South Africa, Africa 118, Yellow Pages Kenya, SweepSouth, scale, Jem, Loop, Launch Africa Ventures, Local Knowledge, Savant Venture Fund, LayUp Technologies, Oze, Vendasta,, Duda, Helm, Afrigis, SIINDA, UVU Africa, TransUnion Africa, AdBot, Rainmaker Media, Qwili, Here Technologies, Visiosoft, and many more. This list grows every day.

Purchase your Early Bird tickets today for only R2000. This grants the ticketholder two days of top-level content and networking in Africa’s top destination city with an amazing group of tech builders, investors, and corporate leaders. Apply the promotional code BIGFIVE25 at checkout to save an additional 25%.

Purchase Summit tickets in ZAR here:

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