Logistics startup, Kobo360, has raised a $6 million equity investment led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) with participation from others including Silicon Valley investors WTI, Y-Combinator, and African institutional investors Cardinal Stone Partners, Chandaria Capital, and TLcom to upgrade its platform and expand operations to Ghana, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire.
The Nigerian trucking logistics startup had earlier raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding round soon after being accepted into the Y-Combinator class of 2018. The company has served 900 businesses, aggregated a fleet of 8,000 drivers and moved 155 million kilograms. Top clients include Honeywell, Olam, Unilever, Dangote and DHL.
Commenting on the new development, Obi Ozor, CEO and Founder of Kobo said
“We are excited to have our new investors to support us in redesigning transportation and logistics in Africa, and across Emerging Markets, by building a Global Logistics Operating System (G-LOS) to power new frontiers in trade and commerce. Our motivation remains to aggressively reduce logistics frictions for large enterprises and SMEs, and connect new markets, and in the process unlock better wellbeing and opportunities across communities.”
Ozor noted that the startup has scaled from just an app to a platform that offers supply chain management tools for enterprise customers.
According to him
“Large enterprises are asking us for very specific features related to movement, tracking and sales of their goods. We either integrate other services, like SAP, into Kobo or we build those solutions into our platform directly.
“We want clients to be able to use our Kobo dashboard for everything; moving goods, tracking, sales and accounting and tackling their challenges.”
Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of IFC, noted that the corporation is committed to supporting the digital economy and young entrepreneurs in Nigeria and across Africa.
“IFC’s investment in Kobo demonstrates how disruptive technologies can enhance the development of key sectors and contribute to Nigeria’s economic diversification. This is an innovative startup that is making company operations more efficient and lowering transport costs.”
Logistics has become an active space in Africa’s tech sector, with startup entrepreneurs connecting digital to delivery models. A report by MarketLine, estimated the value of Nigeria’s transportation sector in 2016 at $6 billion, with 99.4 per cent comprising road freight.