Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 raises $30 million for expansion
Nigerian tech startup Kobo360 has successfully raised capital for expansion in a round of funding backed by United States-based Investment Bank, Goldman Sachs on prospects of the freight company successfully replicating its business across different markets. Nigerian banks also participated in financing the startup.
The capital is made of $20 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs and $10 million in working capital financing from Nigerian commercial banks, TechCrunch reports.
Kobo360 is a tech-enabled digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to-end haulage operations. The company which currently operates in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, and Kenya would use the fund it has raised to explore opportunities in ten new markets across Africa.
Obi Ozor, CEO and co-founder of Kobo360 told TechCrunch the logistics startup would conclude on the new African countries it would be operating in by the first quarter of next year but still has global expansion in mind.
“We’re definitely thinking global, we just want to make sure we close out our home market first, then we’ll start looking outside,” Ozor said.
Kobo360 would invest part of the capital in creating its block-chain enabled system Global Logistics Operating System (GLOS), which would enable increase the company’s presence in supply-chain business.
The startup would be also looking to take advantage of the recently signed Africa Continental Trade Area (AfCTA) agreement, the success of which according to Ozor depends on logistics.
“We’re going to do some policy work through the IFC so we can help shape AfCTA. The key to the deal is really logistics, so if the logistics component doesn’t work out the deal isn’t going to work,” the co-founder said.
Ife Oyodelo and Obi Ozor launched Kobo360 in 2017 and early last year was accepted into Y Combinator’s summer 2018 batch and received $120,000 for 7 percent equity. Y Combinator is an American seed accelerator.
The Nigerian startup also in December last year raised $6 million for its operations and expansion into Ghana, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire.
Expansion across the continent would intensify the rivalry between Kobo360 and Kenyan-based Lori Systems, both e-logistics firms which have entered the primary market of the other. Africa’s logistics industry is worth some $150 billion, although it still mostly relies on telephones, opaque pricing and full of expensive middlemen.
Since its establishment, Kobo360 has supported 2,345 businesses and moved 300 million kg of packages across its markets. The company also operates a fleet of 10,879 and has been awarded Top 100 SMEs in Nigeria, 2018 by BusinessDay and Disrupter of the year award 2019 by African CEO Forum.