Nigerian Logistics startup, Send Technologies, has just received funding from Uncovered Fund, a venture capitalist firm based in Tokyo, Japan. Send is one of the companies that have been selected to receive portions of the $15 million fund from the Japanese firm.
Companies that are selected for the fund must be African and cater to a market in Africa. The fund is part of the effort to make more investment available to African startups in order to support business growth and innovation.
Ecommerce and logistics startups dominate Uncovered Fund’s portfolio
In 2020, Uncovered invested in Kenya’s Sky.garden and Nigeria’s RxAll. This year it is looking to diversify its portfolio even more and has invested in Send Technologies, LipaLater and Gozem. Gozem is a Togolese ride-hailing company that has expanded into last-mile and food delivery. Its model is similar to that of Opay that added verticals such as food delivery and e-commerce and expanded its ride-hailing offerings to include tricycles, cabs and buses.
In 2021, Uncovered Fund has invested in Gozem, LipaLater and Send Technologies
Kenya’s LipaLater provides an avenue for customers to buy goods and pay later while retailers are able to sell more because of the increased frequency at which customers buy on LipaLater’s platform. Sky.garden, like Jumia, is a Kenyan e-commerce platform where people can order and pay for home essentials, track the order and receive it without having to go to a physical shop from anywhere.
Another company in the portfolio, RxAll, has developed a healthtech solution that allows patients and pharmacies to buy verified, high-quality drugs. The drugs are received through a dedicated channel that prevents any compromise of the products.
Send Technologies is the last company in the Japanese VC firm’s portfolio and it provides logistics services within Africa for goods through the air, water or land. Send’s technology allows companies and individuals to book a cargo shipment and track it in real-time. The startup handles the booking and tracking on its site as well as customs clearance processing for goods moving across Africa.
The exact amount of funding Send Technologies received is undisclosed. However, Uncovered Fund gives between $100,000 and $200,000 to companies in the seed stage and higher to companies above this stage. Send raised a seed funding of $150,000 from Y Combinator in March 2020.
The current selection of Uncovered’s portfolio companies reveals 2 e-commerce companies with fintech applications, 2 logistics companies as well as 1 healthtech startup. The fintech sector has received a significant percentage of funding, compared to other sectors in the tech space.
A report by Techpoint highlights that in Q1 2020, a total of $55.37 million and fintech startups alone received about 82.2% of the funding while the remaining 17.8% was raised by other startups in the tech space. (Please this sentence is incomplete)
This emphasizes the growing interest in fintech startups and is reflected in Uncovered Fund’s portfolio as well. It also indicates that it is a trend that will continue in 2021.
The VC firm’s $15 million investment program will be closed in June 2021. Until then it will still be investing in companies in sectors including healthtech, fintech, e-commerce, logistics and smart city startups in the African space.
Featured Image credit: Send Technologies
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