Investments

Goldman Leads $20M Funding For Trucking Platform Kobo360 

Goldman Leads $20M Funding For Kobo360

The freight logistics startup Kobo360 in Nigeria has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Goldman Sachs, as reported on Wednesday (Aug. 14).

An additional $10 million was also raised from Nigerian commercial banks, earmarked for working capital.

Kobo360 connects truckers seeking work with companies that need deliveries across Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya. The funding will be used for platform improvements and expansion efforts to an additional 10 countries. Those new countries will be decided by the first quarter of 2020, Kobo360’s CEO and Co-founder Obi Ozor told the news outlet.

The company has continued to grow its product offerings and customer base since its 2017 launch in Lagos. Its fleet of more than 10,000 drivers and trucks delivers to clients such as Honeywell, Olam, Unilever, Dangote and DHL, the article said.

The Kobo360 app is offered in languages common to drivers, such as Hausa and Pidgin. The company also offers drivers an array of services, including a working capital finance program, an insurance product and benefits like HMO packages and tuition assistance.

The e-logistics and transport space is growing in Africa. Kobo360’s biggest competitor is Lori Systems, who expanded into Nigeria in September of 2018. Kobo360 moved into Lori Systems’ headquarters country of Kenya this year. The estimated value of Nigeria’s transportation sector was $6 billion in 2016, with 99.4 percent comprising road freight, per a MarketLine research report.

Africa is home to 54 countries and hundreds of millions of smartphone users. The annual population growth tops 2 percent, and as much as 50 percent of the population is under the age of 20, more likely to be tech-savvy and ready to embrace all things digital, including payments and banking. Three times as many people in Africa – roughly 280 million – have mobile money accounts compared to traditional bank accounts.

FinTechs looking at Africa must grapple with the vagaries of 54 markets, 54 central banks, disparate tax and legal policies, and changing foreign exchange (FX) rates. In some cases, there is also a general lack of identity documentation and financial services.

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