Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 has announced it has formally launched operations in Nairobi, Kenya, marking the company’s first physical expansion into East Africa.
Launched in 2017, Kobo360 is a digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to-end haulage operations to help cargo owners, truck owners and drivers, and cargo recipients achieve an efficient supply chain framework.
Kobo360 had completed a US$20 million Series A equity funding round led by Goldman Sachs with participation from Asia Africa Investment and Consulting and existing investors including TLcom Capital, Y Combinator, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The startup also secured an additional US$10 million in local currency working capital financing has been secured from Nigerian commercial banks.
It has followed this up with the launch of its new regional office in Nairobi, which will be led by African region chief executive officer (CEO) Kagure Wamunyu and comes as the company looks to foster seamless intra-African trade by connecting and supporting cargo owners, truck owners and drivers, and cargo recipients.
Kobo360 has been in beta operation in Kenya for five months, with access to over 3,000 trucks and truck owners. Kenyan logistic partners include Bidco Africa, Union Logistics, and Intraspeed ARCPRO Kenya, as well as millers such as Bakhresa Group, Rafiki Millers and McNeel Millers.
Kenya’s Port of Mombasa is the largest and busiest port in East Africa, handling more than 13 million tonnes every year and providing a direct connection to over 80 ports worldwide. Kobo360 is growing its reach in East Africa in order to support the thousands of freight companies who require a safe, reliable and cost effective delivery of their goods to cargo recipients across the region.
“Kobo360 has a deserved reputation for enabling an agile and connected supply chain, as well as reducing logistics frictions. Over the past five months, our homegrown team has been running operations in beta to ensure that we build a strong fleet of trucks and service businesses in Kenya looking to efficiently move goods,” Wamunyu said.
“As the largest port in East Africa, Kenya’s Mombasa serves as a gateway to other East African markets. Our presence in Kenya means we are in a position to leverage on the nation’s high technology adoption rate in order to fuel logistics in East Africa and beyond.
“We anticipate the strengthening of our links across this region, which will bring us closer to build our Global Logistics Operating System (G-LOS) to ensure fast and low-cost movement of goods for businesses on the continent.”