Nigeria’s Kobo360 raises $6 million from IFC to Transform Supply Chain for African Mass-Market Goods

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Kobo360 Inc, an ‘Uber’ for trucks in Nigeria has raised a $6 million equity investment led by the IFC with participation from others including Silicon Valley investors WTI, YCombinator , and African institutional investors Cardinal Stone Partners, Chandaria Capital, and TLcom. 

The round was led by Western Technology Investment and Nigeria’s Verod Capital Management.

In June this year, Kobo360 raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding round soon after being accepted into the YCombinator class of 2018.

According to Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of IFC, “IFC is committed to supporting the digital economy and young entrepreneurs in Nigeria and across Africa. IFC’s investment in Kobo demonstrates how disruptive technologies can enhance the development of key sectors and contribute to Nigeria’s economic diversification. This is an innovative startup that is making company operations more efficient and lowering transport costs.”

The company improves access to long-haul road freight services for large and small enterprises and currently has 5,000 trucks on its platform, from over 600 small fleet owners, serving some of the largest enterprises in Nigeria. 

Trips can take more than three times as long and cost twice the price in Nigeria compared with similar distance routes in the US. Kobo app solves these challenges and inefficiencies. 

Obi Ozor, CEO and Founder of Kobo said “We are excited to have our new investors to support us in redesigning transportation and logistics in Africa, and across Emerging Markets, by building a Global Logistics Operating System (G-LOS) to power new frontiers in trade and commerce. Our motivation remains to aggressively reduce logistics frictions for large enterprises and SMEs, and connect new markets, and in the process unlock better wellbeing and opportunities across communities” 

The transaction was announced today by Le Houérou and Ozor on the eve of the opening of the Next 100 African Starups Initiative. The program, launched in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and IFC, spotlights more than 100 promising African start-ups that will participate in the Africa 2018 Forum being held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from December 8-10.

Kobo is the latest addition to IFC’s growing venture capital portfolio of e-mobility startups in frontier markets including BlackBuck (India), Full Truck Alliance (China), Loggi (Brazil), Mandae (Brazil), PickMe (Sri Lanka).