Kenyan logistics startup, Lori Systems has received an undisclosed fund from Google. This is the third startup in Africa to receive a similar investment from Google’s $50 Million Africa Investment Fund, which CEO Sundar Pichai announced in October 2021.
The investment is meant to support the e-logistics company’s mission of expanding into the African market, digitising haulage, providing shippers with solutions to manage their shipments and hauliers more efficiently as well as driving meaningful economic development in Africa. It also hopes to expand new product lines and increase profitability.
South African game publisher, Carry1st and Ugandan safe app, Safeboda are the two other startups in which Google has invested as part of its $50 million African Investment Fund. Lori Systems’ announcement follows the opening of Google’s first product development centre on the African continent, in Nairobi, Kenya, the city where Lori Systems was founded.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, launched the investment funding scheme in October 2021 in order to support African startups and tech-led initiatives, promoting digital transformation and meaningful economic development. This is part of a larger $1 billion investment in Africa that the tech giant hopes to make over the next five years.
At Google, we understand the transformative power digitisation can bring to the African continent. There is so much potential in the region, but it’s only through innovation that this can be fully unlocked. Lori Systems is a great example of how technology can be scalable across Africa, and how, in turn, this can drive meaningful economic development. We’re excited to see where the future takes a business like this.Nitin Gajria, Google’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa.
“We are excited by this opportunity to partner with Google and expect to reevaluate our investment options sometime in the first half of next year.” Lori wants to use the new funds to scale new product lines and reach profitability, Jean-Claude Homawoo, co-founder and chief product officer told TechCrunch.
About Lori Systems
Although the global logistics industry has seen much more advancement in recent years, there is still a need in Africa to upscale and modernise its services for better results. The African logistics industry faces numerous challenges, including a disparate supply and demand market, conflicting pricing, and proper documentation, among others.
Launched in 2016 by Josh Sandler, Jean-Claude Homawoo, and Ernest Gichini Ngaruiya, the e-logistics company has been on a mission to address some of these challenges with solutions such as lowering the cost of its on-demand logistics marketplace, seamlessly providing shippers’ solutions to efficiently manage their cargo and transporters, and digitising their entire transport operations.
We’re excited to have Google as a partner as we continue to build the operating system for emerging market logistics. Our vision of the future of logistics in Africa is one that is digital, scalable and more efficient. We have been successful, achieving up to 20% price reduction for cargo owners and nearly 2x increase in truck utilization for transporters on our platform. We are excited about this funding as it will allow us to continue driving superior efficiencies across logistics on the continent.Uche Ogboi., CEO of Lori Systems
Since its inception, the company claims to have assisted shippers and carriers in transporting more than $10 billion worth of cargo across Africa. This earned the company global recognition earlier this year from the Financial Times, which ranked it as Africa’s seventh fastest-growing company.
Lori Systems spans 13 African countries including Nigeria, Congo and Rwanda. It hopes to further expand to frontier markets throughout the continent and beyond.
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