Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 raises $30M backed by Goldman Sachs

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.

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The organization — with an Uber -like app that connects truckers and organizations 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  client base. The startup claims a fleet of additional than 10,000 drivers and trucks operating on its app. Prime consumers consist of Honeywell, Olam, Unilever, Dangote and DHL.

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

Obi Ozor Ife Oyedele II Kobo360 Co Founders Office Shot

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

The startup is element of a developing e-logistics and transport space in Africa linking on-demand apps to mobile-primarily based connectivity to move individuals and goods about the continent additional successfully.

In the ride-hail space, worldwide 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 study firm MarketLine estimated the worth of Nigeria’s transportation sector in 2016 at $6 billion, with 99.4% comprising road freight.

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

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

In addition to reduce expenses 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 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,” Azor stated.

Kobo360 will use element of its $30 million funding to construct out its International Logistics Operating Technique —  GLOS for quick — a blockchain-enabled platform that will assist the organization transition to additional provide-chain solutions.

Kobo360 Product Shot Accept Trips

By Digest Africa’s most up-to-date ranking, Kobo360’s $20 million Series A is the 5th biggest investment in an African startup this year, following Egyptian ride-hail organization 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 many years the U.S. primarily based finance firm’s Africa investments have incorporated backing for e-commerce unicorn Jumia (which not too long ago listed on the NYSE) and top a $52 million investment in South African fintech startup Jumo in 2018.

Goldman Sachs’ Jules Frebault named Kobo360’s capability to scale swiftly more than a quick period of time and use of tech to increase reliability and efficiency in Africa’s logistics ecosystem as a purpose for top the Series A.

“It’;s also a business model that’;s replicable across multiple geographies on the continent,” he told TechCrunch on a get in touch with.

Kobo360 has a thoughts toward international expansion but expects to stay focused on Nigeria and Africa for now. “We’;re definitely thinking global, we just want to make sure we close out our home market first, then we’;ll start looking outside,” Azor stated.