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Kobo360 Raises $30m Funding Round to Expand to 10 New Countries

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Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 has raised a $20 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs and an additional $10 million in working capital financing from a consortium of Nigerian commercial banks.

Kobo36o will use the funds to upgrade its platform and expand to 10 new countries beyond current operating markets of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya.

According to TechCrunch, since the launch of Kobo360 in Lagos in 2017, Kobo360 has continued to grow its product offerings, VC backing and customer base. The startup claims a fleet of more than 10,000 drivers and trucks operating on its app. Top clients include Honeywell, Olam, Unilever, Dangote and DHL.

In addition to customer focus, founders Ife Oyodelo II and Obi Ozor have prioritized serving the startup’s drivers. They offer the company’s app in languages common to drivers, such as Hausa and Pidgin. 

Kobo360 also launched its own driver working capital finance program, KoPay, KoboSafe insurance product and KoboCare: a suite of driver services from HMO packages to family tuition assistance.

Kobo360’s CEO Obi Ozor told TechCrunch the startup would make final decisions on the 10 new countries by first quarter 2020.

As a cross-border freight service, the company looks to benefit from Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), signed this year by all the continent’s 54 countries to reduce barriers and friction on Pan-African commercial activity.

In addition to lower costs for Kobo360’s country to country freight movement, the startup expects to have a voice in AFCTA’s final implementation.

Nigerian Logistics Startup, Kobo360 Expands to Togo

“We’re going to do some policy work through the IFC so we can help shape AFCTA. The key to the deal is really logistics, so if the logistics component doesn’t work out the deal isn’t going to work,” Ozor said.

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Kobo360 will use part of its $30 million funding to build out its Global Logistics Operating System —  GLOS for short — a blockchain-enabled platform that will help the company transition to more supply-chain services.

Goldman Sachs’ Jules Frebault named Kobo360’s ability to scale quickly over a short period of time and use of tech to improve reliability and efficiency in Africa’s logistics ecosystem as a reason for leading the Series A.

“It’s also a business model that’s replicable across multiple geographies on the continent,” he told TechCrunch on a call.

Kobo360 has a mind toward international expansion but expects to remain focused on Nigeria and Africa for now. “We’re definitely thinking global, we just want to make sure we close out our home market first, then we’ll start looking outside,” Ozor said.


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