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“I spent $60,000 to take my food business online, but..”

  • Previous Platform HTML Websites
  • Industry Food ordering and delivery
  • Product Yelo marketplace

Imagine this! As a local entrepreneur, you have the responsibility of taking your traditional food business online. And you spend a major chunk of your life’s money, developing an app that doesn’t turn out to be workable. Devastating, right?

Every 7 in 10 local entrepreneurs go through this. And given the limited resources they have, this is just not affordable. In this piece, we will share with you the true story of Edward Lee, an entrepreneur from Panama, who lost a lot of time and money to launch an online marketplace.

Edward is now a succesful marketplace owner. He runs his business by the name of Ninyapp in The Caribbean.

With Yelo, Ninyapp 
  • Saved in millions on source code
  • Increased transparency in deliveries by 10X
  • Took transactions to 15000 per month

Keep reading to know how Edward achieved all of it. 


Lack of technical know-how

Edward’s family has a renowned traditional food business. But taking it online was a big challenge for them. He quips, “My father always wants to do things first and lay the foundation for others. We went online in 2004 with HTML.” 

“But when the app craze came, it was a different animal altogether.”

Edward hired two developers but the results were hazardous. 

“As an entrepreneur, you really don’t know much about the tech stuff and that is where I had to face the consequences. When you don’t act according to the status quo, people think you are crazy. And as an entrepreneur, you don’t want people to believe that. It was a horrible, horrible time.”

Edward Lee

Founder, Ninyapp
Complex Delivery

Apart from roads and traffic, addresses in Panama pose a major challenge. Edward explains, “The address system is very complex here. Some houses have the same numbers and some do not have numbers at all.”

Started as a side hustle in The Caribbean, now a million dollar business Read this too


Technical Expertise

With Jungleworks’ go to technology stack, Edward could be stress free with the tech side of things. He says, “I got a lot of time for my customers. And it is really a very big relief to know that you have a team working for you if anything goes wrong. It is a great model.”

Delivery tracking 

With Tookan, deliveries for Ninyapp became much simplified. Tookan, as a platform helps you show directions and track deliveries.

Edward says, “With Tookan, customers can actually track where their food is and this increases a lot of customer satisfaction.”


Edward is currently doing 15,000 orders per month and has onboarded some major restaurants as his partners. His deliveries are simplified and his community loves the app.

Edward feels that relation building goes way beyond high marketing budgets when it comes to community. He is grateful for his community supporting him and standing by him. 

On big players, Edward feels that they serve as the best marketing for you. He says, “They put everything together and then once they are gone, you can take advantage of their ground work.”

In the end, Edward’s advice for local entrepreneurs would be to be thick skinned as it is not a cake walk.

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Inspired by Ninyapp's journey? Find out how you can do the same for your business.