E-logistics is a growing industry in Africa. Kobo360, a Nigerian freight logistics startup with an Uber-like marketplace, announced last week that the company has raised $20 million in Series A financing, TechCrunch reports.
Goldman Sachs led the round, which also included $10 million in working capital investment from commercial banks in Nigeria. The company plans to use this funding to improve its product offerings and expand into 10 new countries.
Kobo360 currently operates in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya with a fleet of more than 10,000 drivers and trucks using its app. Among Kobo360’s clients are Honeywell, Olam, Unilever, Dangote and DHL.
Keeping drivers happy is a top priority for founders Ife Oyedele II and Obi Ozor. Kobo360 has rolled out a working capital finance program, insurance offering and a range of benefits for drivers.
Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area, signed this year by each country on the African continent, makes the prospect of cross-border freight service quite favorable. Ozor told TechCrunch that Kobo360 will have a voice in implementing this policy.
“We’re going to do some policy work through the IFC so we can help shape AFCTA. The key to the deal is really logistics, so if the logistics component doesn’t work out the deal isn’t going to work.”
“We’re going to do some policy work through the IFC so we can help shape AFCTA. The key to the deal is really logistics, so if the logistics component doesn’t work out the deal isn’t going to work,” said Ozor to the outlet.
Kobo’s blockchain-powered Global Logistics Operating System (GLOS) will also be an area of investment for the startup as it focuses more on supply chain services.
Jules Frebault of Goldman Sachs spoke positively about Kobo360’s potential to dominate logistics in Africa through its scalable platform. “It’s also a business model that’s replicable across multiple geographies on the continent,” Frebault told TechCrunch on a call.