The new funding consists of a $20 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs, a prominent investment bank. Other investors which participated include Asia Africa Investment and Consulting; pre-existing investors, International Finance Corporation (IFC), TLcom Capital, and Y Combinator.
The other $10 million is a working capital financing raised from commercial banks in Nigeria. This brings the total funding of the round to $30 million, its biggest funding since inception and a huge stride for the 3 year old startup.
This new investment will be used to help Kobo360 scale its platform and expand to 10 new countries outside its current markets by the end of 2020.
“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.”Obi Ozor, Chief Executive Officer, Kobo360.
The startup also plans to be fully involved in the recently signed Africa Free Trade Continental Agreement (AFCFTA) implementation, and this will see it do some policy work through the IFC to help shape the agreement.
And a part of the $30 million will be used to develop its technology offerings. This includes its Global Logistics Operating System (G-LOS), a blockchain enabled platform that will help the accelerate its supply growth and reduce supply chain frictions. And according to the startup, this will be launched on the day the AFCFTA roll out.
Speaking on the investment, Executive Director, Goldman Sacs, Jules Frebault, says Kobo360’s track record of revolutionising the Africa’s logistics ecosystem with tech in a short while, was the important motivator for it to lead the investment.
“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,” he said.
The startup also plans to add 10,000 drivers to the platform with a whole lot of innovations put in place to serve both the new and existing drivers. This includes KoPAY, driver finance program of up to US$5,000 monthly working capital; KoboSAFE, an insurance product; and KoboCARE, access to discounted petrol, comprehensive HMO packages and an incentive-based education programme for drivers’ families.
These innovations will no doubt help to boost the startup’s growth. It also points to the fact that new few months will be very exciting for the innovative startup.
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