Nigerian digital freight provider, MVX has announced its $1.3 million seed round to help shippers move cargoes faster.
The funding round was led by Africa-focused firms Kepple Africa, The Continent Venture Partners, Founders Factory, Launch Africa, and Capital Oak. Some angel investors in the U.S, Japan, Nigeria, and South Africa also participated.
Founded in 2019 by Membere-Otaji and Tobi Amusan as CTO, the company was called MVXchange at first. Its business model revolved around providing a support vessel booking platform that matched vessel chartering requests made by operators with available Offshore Support Vessels (OSVs).
In March 2020, the company made a sharp pivot and tweaked its model launching MVXtransit, a digital freight booking platform, helping cargo owners find deals on moving containers across Nigeria. CEO Membere-Otaji cites uncertainty of oil prices and the pandemic as reasons behind the decision.
In April 2021, the company launched MVXpay, a finance and payment solution to provide trade finance for freight operators all under MVX. Merchants looking to move shipments from Africa to the U.S or China, who lack the capital to pay for freight or supply can request credit on MVX. The startup passes this request over to its financial partners who now lend to the consumers if they meet the minimum requirements. Next, MVX takes care of the shipment and delivers it abroad. Once the transaction is done, the merchant pays back, with all partners taking commissions.
MVX wants to make freight shipping and trade finance easier for African businesses by bringing booking and deployment processes online.
The company charges a commission for the services provided, including trucking, warehousing, shipping, and cargo stuffing. The pan-African freight company has already recorded more than 300 shipments this year but plans to end with 1,500.
According to Techcrunch, the startup has expanded beyond Nigeria and claims that merchants from the West African country, as well as Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Rwanda, can use its platform to move freight in and out of their countries.
This new funding will be used to scale its operations, hire staff and improve its technology. MVX is also talking to investors to raise more money, most likely debt, for its trade financing product.
What they are saying
Satoshi Shinada, General Partner at Kepple Africa, said, “The trade sector in Africa is one that we believe is ripe for disruption. MVX is building a game-changing technology and platform to revolutionize how businesses in Africa move shipment and trade around the world.”