Kobo360, the digital technology platform disrupting African third-party logistics, has announced that it has secured a total of $30 million funding to expand its operations across Africa and other emerging markets.
According to the logistics firm, this followed the completion of a $20million Series A equity round led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from Asia Africa Investment & Consulting Pte. and existing investors including TLcom Capital, Y Combinator, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
An additional $10million in local currency working capital financing has also been secured from Nigerian commercial banks, it said in a statement made available to our reporter in Lagos.
Speaking on the funding, Obi Ozor, Co-founder and CEO of Kobo360 said: “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.
“We are 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%, as we work together to mobilize logistics across Africa.”
Also commenting, Jules Frebault of Goldman Sachs noted: “Kobo360’s on-demand logistics offering has generated impressive traction and we are excited to support Obi, Ife and the team as they harness technology to tackle one of Africa’s most pressing development challenges – increasing market transparency, improving reliability and unlocking efficiencies for all participants in the logistics ecosystem.”
Located in key strategic trade hubs in Western and Eastern Africa, the e-logistics company said it will continue its expansion with the ambition to build a Global Logistics Operating System [G-LOS] powering trade and commerce across Africa and emerging markets.
With the funding, the team will continue to scale the organization, develop the technology offering and accelerate supply growth – planning to add 25,000 drivers to the platform in the coming months to power the recent Africa Free Trade Continental Agreement, expected to catalyze intra-African trade.
Kobo360 is also planning to significantly broaden its reach in Africa, entering 10 new countries by the end of 2020 beyond its footprint in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya.
“We see this Series A round as a means to support an ambitious, laser-focused company who are using technology to actively solve problems for enterprises across the continent, and we look forward to working with them as they continue to scale and transform the African logistics sector,” Senior Partner of TLcom Capital, Omobola Johnson, said.
Kobo360 is also developing a suite of driver-focused products to support the over 10,000 drivers on the Kobo360 platform.
It 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 programme for drivers’ families.