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

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

The corporate — with an Uber -admire app that connects truckers and companies to produce services — will exhaust the funds to upgrade its platform and amplify to 10 unusual international locations past present working markets of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya.

Since its open in Lagos in 2017, Kobo360 has persevered to develop its product choices, VC backing and  buyer noxious. The startup claims a quick of extra than 10,000 drivers and trucks working on its app. Top purchasers consist of Honeywell, Olam, Unilever, Dangote and DHL.

Moreover to to buyer focal point, founders Ife Oyodelo and Obi Azor be pleased prioritized serving the startup’s drivers. They supply the corporate’s app in languages no longer current to drivers, such as Hausa and Pidgin. 

Kobo360 furthermore launched its beget driver working capital finance program, KoPay, KoboSafe insurance coverage product and KoboCare: a suite of driver services from HMO programs to household tuition help.

The startup is share of a rising e-logistics and transport rental in Africa linking on-ask apps to cell-essentially based connectivity to slither folks and goods all the procedure in which via the continent extra successfully.

Within the tear-hail rental, international gamers such as Uber and Roam are competing with one any other and homegrown startups to digitize and snatch revenues in the continent’s auto and bike taxi markets.

In e-logistics freight supply, two startups — Kobo360 and Lori Programs — be pleased persevered to compete tit for tat on investment, scale and growth.

Kobo360 moved into Lori Programs’ HQ country Kenya remaining 300 and sixty five days. Lori Programs expanded into Nigeria in September of 2018.

Commercial analysis firm MarketLine estimated the cost of Nigeria’s transportation sector in 2016 at $6 billion, with ninety 9.4% comprising twin carriageway freight.

Kobo360’s CEO Obi Azor urged TechCrunch the startup would bag remaining selections on the 10 unusual  international locations by first quarter 2020.

As a putrid-border freight service, the corporate appears to be to be pleased the profit of Africa’s Continental Free Change Role (AFCFTA), signed this 300 and sixty five days by the total continent’s 54 international locations to reduce barriers and friction on Pan-African industrial job.

Moreover to to diminish costs for Kobo360’s country to country freight movement, the startup expects to be pleased a deliver in AFCTA’s remaining implementation.

“We’re going to assemble some policy work via the IFC so we are able to help form AFCTA. Potentially the most essential to the deal is basically logistics, so if the logistics factor doesn’t determine the deal isn’t going to work,” Azor stated.

Kobo360 will exhaust share of its $30 million funding to scheme out its World Logistics Operating Draw —  GLOS for transient — a blockchain-enabled platform that could help the corporate transition to extra provide-chain services.

By Digest Africa’s most recent score, Kobo360’s $20 million Sequence A is the fifth largest investment in an African startup this 300 and sixty five days, after Egyptian tear-hail company Svwl’s $42 million develop in June. Kobo360’s existing investors IFC, TLCom Capital and Y Combinator joined the spherical.

Goldman Sachs confirmed to TechCrunch its lead on the Sequence A. Over the relaxation lots of years the U.S. essentially based finance firm’s Africa investments be pleased included backing for e-commerce unicorn Jumia (which recently listed on the NYSE) and main a $52 million investment in South African fintech startup Jumo in 2018.

Goldman Sachs’ Jules Frebault named Kobo360’s skill to scale hasty over a brief time frame and exhaust of tech to enhance reliability and effectivity in Africa’s logistics ecosystem as a motive for main the Sequence A.

“It’s furthermore a industry model that’s replicable all the procedure in which via just a few geographies on the continent,” he urged TechCrunch on a name.

Kobo360 has a mind in direction of international growth but expects to dwell centered on Nigeria and Africa for now. “We’re positively pondering international, we steady should be optimistic we shut out our home market first, then we’ll originate having a peep outdoor,” Azor stated.

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