Eliran Assa

Nigerian freight logistics startup Kobo360 has raised a $20 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs and $10 million in functioning capital financing from Nigerian industrial banks.

The firm — with an Uber -like app that connects truckers and businesses to delivery solutions — will use the funds to upgrade its platform and expand to 10 new nations beyond present operating markets of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya.

Given that its launch in Lagos in 2017, Kobo360 has continued to develop its item offerings, VC backing and  consumer base. The startup claims a fleet of a lot more than 10,000 drivers and trucks operating on its app. Leading customers contain Honeywell, Olam, Unilever, Dangote and DHL.

In addition to consumer concentrate, founders Ife Oyodelo and Obi Azor have prioritized serving the startup’s drivers. They give the company’s app in languages frequent to drivers, such as Hausa and Pidgin. 

Kobo360 also launched its personal driver functioning capital finance plan, KoPay, KoboSafe insurance coverage item and KoboCare: a suite of driver solutions from HMO packages to loved ones tuition help.

The startup is aspect of a increasing e-logistics and transport space in Africa linking on-demand apps to mobile-primarily based connectivity to move folks and goods about the continent a lot more efficiently.

In the ride-hail space, international players such as Uber and Bolt are competing with each and every other and homegrown startups to digitize and capture revenues in the continent’s auto and motorcycle taxi markets.

In e-logistics freight delivery, two startups — Kobo360 and Lori Systems — have continued to compete tit for tat on investment, scale and expansion.

Kobo360 moved into Lori Systems’ HQ nation Kenya final year. Lori Systems expanded into Nigeria in September of 2018.

Industrial analysis firm MarketLine estimated the worth of Nigeria’s transportation sector in 2016 at $six billion, with 99.four% comprising road freight.

Kobo360’s CEO Obi Azor told TechCrunch the startup would make final choices on the 10 new  nations by initial quarter 2020.

As a cross-border freight service, the firm appears to advantage from Africa’s Continental Absolutely free Trade Region (AFCFTA), signed this year by all the continent’s 54 nations to minimize barriers and friction on Pan-African industrial activity.

In addition to decrease fees for Kobo360’s nation to nation freight movement, the startup expects to have a voice in AFCTA’s final implementation.

“We’re going to do some policy perform by means of the IFC so we can assist shape AFCTA. The crucial to the deal is actually logistics, so if the logistics element does not perform out the deal is not going to perform,” Azor stated.

Kobo360 will use aspect of its $30 million funding to make out its International Logistics Operating Technique —  GLOS for brief — a blockchain-enabled platform that will assist the firm transition to a lot more provide-chain solutions.

Kobo360 Product Shot Accept Trips

By Digest Africa’s most recent ranking, Kobo360’s $20 million Series A is the 5th biggest investment in an African startup this year, following Egyptian ride-hail firm Svwl’s $42 million raise in June. Kobo360’s current investors IFC, TLCom Capital and Y Combinator joined the round.

Goldman Sachs confirmed to TechCrunch its lead on the Series A. More than the final various years the U.S. primarily based finance firm’s Africa investments have integrated backing for e-commerce unicorn Jumia (which lately listed on the NYSE) and major a $52 million investment in South African fintech startup Jumo in 2018.

Goldman Sachs’ Jules Frebault named Kobo360’s potential to scale swiftly more than a brief period of time and use of tech to enhance reliability and efficiency in Africa’s logistics ecosystem as a cause for major the Series A.

“It’s also a organization model that is replicable across a number of geographies on the continent,” he told TechCrunch on a contact.

Kobo360 has a thoughts toward international expansion but expects to stay focused on Nigeria and Africa for now. “We’re certainly pondering international, we just want to make certain we close out our residence marketplace initial, then we’ll start off seeking outdoors,” Azor stated.

 

Eliran Assa

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