Sote, an African supply chain startup, has raised a $3 million seed round to build a digital logistics infrastructure for the continent.
The round was largely led by early-stage venture capital firm MaC Venture Capital, with participation from other investors that include Acceleprise, Backstage Capital, Future Africa, and Rob Solomon — Chairman at GoFundMe. This brings Sote’s total raise to date to $4.4 million.
In addition to the funding announcement, Marlon Nichols — Managing General Partner at MaC VC — also joins Sote’s Board of Directors.
According to MaC Venture Capital, transforming the African logistics industry through tech-enhanced clearance and freight forwarding is the key to unlocking more economic growth.
The company — co-founded by Felix Orwa and Meka Este-McDonald — has launched Africa’s first licensed tech-enabled customs clearing and forwarding service in order to build its digital logistics infrastructure up.
“We are positioning ourselves as a technology company that happens to provide supply chain services,” said Sote co-founder/CEO Felix Orwa. “By providing tech-enabled supply chain services, we introduce meaningful visibility and transparency to industrial importers and exporters such as
manufacturers and retailers in a space that traditionally runs on calls, text, emails, and paper.”
As part of its structured business model, Sote has outlined benefits for both its industrial importers and exporters as well as supply chain partners, which includes transporters and warehouses.
According to a press release, Sote, which is currently operating out of Kenya, has been growing at 33 percent month over month to address a $430 billion market as they organize the entire fragmented African supply chain into a single, useful platform.
Sote’s innovative technological solution has allowed them to scale fast at a rate 10 times more efficient than a traditional customs clearing and forwarding company.
“Sote’s central position in Africa’s supply chain is an opportunity to unify all the supply chain players in a single platform and provide ERP solutions to their customers and supply chain partners,” said MaC VC Founding Partner and Sote Board Member Marlon Nichols.
With the funds raised in this seed round, Sote will be able to introduce new software solutions to its customers and supply chain partners, expand to new markets, and scale its customer base over the next year targeting the 20 million import and export containers available in Africa.