Senegal’s logistics tech startup Chargel has raised $2.5M seed funding for expansion.
The funding round was led by Logos Ventures including Ventures Platform, Foundation Botnar, DFS Labs and Seedstars .The round also included $500,000 debt and $750,000 it announced last year.
Founded by Senegalese brothers Moustapha and Alioune Ndoye Chargel matches shippers with transporters, digitizing processes that were previously largely offline. The startup which came out of stealth last year is speedly taking off to be among the world’s largest shipping companies.
“This year we are opening up the platform to more shippers in Senegal. We are also looking at expansion to one other Francophone African country,” said Moustapha.
Chargel transporters, operating out of Senegal, does deliveries to neighboring countries such as Mali, Guinea and Mauritania. Establishing full operations in an additional country will increase their regional coverage, and solve many of the other headaches related to road freight.
The startup simplifies the entire transport process, in that, when it receives online requests from clients like Maersk, it matches them with the most suitable providers (truck and driver) from its network of transporters. Senders are able to track their goods while on the move, and receive notifications once delivery is done. The platform also pools together independent transporters, giving them new earning opportunities.
“We are actually the ones in the middle because clients contract us and we are responsible for the cargo. Our goal is to make sure that the cargo goes from point A to B on time,” he said.
“We are making sure that shippers focus on their business, and truck drivers focus on driving, and we take care of everything that happens in between,” said Moustapha, adding that the startup gives transporters access to other services such as insurance.
According to Moustapha Chargel did over $1.2 million in GMV in 2022, adding that they are close to surpassing that figure so far this year.
Their plan is to tap the expected trade boom in Africa as freight demand within Africa is expected to grow 28% by the close of the decade as intra-regional commerce flourishes, driven by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the single largest unrestricted trade region in the world. As trade within Africa already relies on road freight transport, this growth is set to further grow the demand for trucking services.