South African e-commerce startup Parcelninja, which offers cloud-based warehousing and delivery solutions to online shops, has been acquired by the JSE-listed Imperial.

Founded in 2013 by Justin Drennan, Ryan Drennan, and Terence Murphy,  Parcelninja is an e-commerce enabler that offers South African online shops an affordable outsourcing solution for all their fulfilment needs.

The startup’s platform integrates with most existing e-commerce engines, offering smart product warehousing, picking and packing, courier optimisation, and real-time reporting. The startup’s last announced investment was in 2015, and it has now been acquired by Imperial, a provider of logistics and market access solutions.

Imperial, which completed the deal on February 1, said Parcelninja was a logical fit for Imperial and would help the company strengthen its digital offerings. The company wants to expand its logistics and market access services into last-mile distribution and e-commerce fulfilment, footprint and scale in Africa, while ensuring local relevance for our clients and principals.

“The Parcelninja acquisition will provide specialised warehousing and distribution management in e-commerce, direct to consumers and to informal markets,” Imperial said in notes alongside the financial results.

“Enabled with leading software, processes and people capabilities in South Africa, Parcelninja provides fulfilment in both business-to-consumer and business-to-business channels, including the informal market, supported by the management and optimisation of courier parcel deliveries.”

Imperial has also announced that its US$20 million Imperial Innovation Fund now has five actively managed portfolio companies – Nigerian digital pharmaceutical distributor Field Intelligence; Shypple, a digital freight forwarder operating between Asia and Europe; Redbird, a provider of rapid diagnostic tests to pharmacies in Ghana; Lori Systems, a digital road freight exchange operating in East and West Africa; and an unnamed digital logistics service provider serving e-commerce merchants in MENA.