Digital logistics platform, Kobo360, this week disclosed the completion of a $20 million Series A equity round led by an American investment bank, Goldman Sachs. While an additional $10 million working capital financing was also secured from Nigerian commercial banks.
Participants in this round of financing include existing investors TLcom Capital, a Sub-Saharan Africa focused tech VC; American seed accelerator, Y Combinator; the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group; and new investor Asia Africa Investment & Consulting.
With the funding, the Nigerian startup will continue to scale its operations, develop the technology offering and accelerate supply growth. The plan is to add 25,000 drivers to the platform in the coming months to power the recent Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which is expected to boost intra-African trade.
“Our Series A allows us to invest in growing our talented team that is working hard on the ground to systematically address the inefficiencies within the African logistics sector, and strengthen our already extensive network of clients and truck owners across the continent,” Co-founder and CEO of Kobo360, Obi Ozor said.
The startup is also focusing on developing the partnership with drivers, ensuring that they are trained to use mobile-enabled technology, so they can convey goods seamlessly and earn more money. “We are already seeing drivers running trips on the Kobo360 platform increase their monthly earnings by 40 percent, as we work together to mobilize logistics across Africa,” Ozor added.
Furthermore, Kobo360 is looking to significantly broaden its reach in Africa. The company plans to expand into 10 new countries by the end of 2020 beyond its footprint in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, and Kenya, it said in a press release.
Being one of the fastest-growing tech start-ups out of Africa with presence in key strategic trade hubs in Western and Eastern Africa, the e-logistics company aims to continue its expansion with the ambition to build a Global Logistics Operating System [G-LOS] powering trade and commerce across Africa and emerging markets.
Along with the expansion plan, Kobo360 is also developing a suite of driver-focused products to support the over 10,000 drivers currently on its platform. The startup has launched KoPAY, offering access to up to $5,000 monthly working capital; KoboSAFE, access to an insurance product; and KoboCARE, access to discounted petrol, comprehensive HMO packages and an incentive-based education program for drivers’ families.
Kobo360 is a digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to-end haulage operations to help cargo owners, truck owners, and drivers, and cargo recipients to achieve an efficient supply chain framework. The company’s successful track record is the major reason for IFC’s continuous investment into Kobo360, Wale Ayeni, who heads venture investing in Africa for the World Bank member, revealed.
Launched in 2017 by Nigerian entrepreneurs Obi Ozor and Ife Oyedele, the company has moved over 500Mkg of goods, aggregated a fleet of over 10,000 drivers and trucks, and services SMEs and over 80 large enterprises including Dangote Group, DHL, Unilever, Olam, African Industries, Flour Mills of Nigeria, and Lafarge.