The company — with an Uber -like app that connects truckers and companies to delivery services — will use the funds to upgrade its platform and expand to 10 new countries beyond current operating markets of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya.
Since its launch 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 Oyedele 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.
The startup is part of a growing e-logistics and transport space in Africa linking on-demand apps to mobile-based connectivity to move people and goods around the continent more effectively.
In the ride-hail space, global players such as Uber and Bolt are competing with each other and homegrown startups to digitize and capture revenues in the continent’s auto and motorcycle taxi markets.
In e-logistics freight delivery, two startups — Kobo360 and Lori Systems — have continued to compete tit for tat on investment, scale and expansion.
Kobo360 moved into Lori Systems’ HQ country Kenya this year. Lori Systems expanded into Nigeria in September of 2018.
Commercial research firm MarketLine estimated the value of Nigeria’s transportation sector in 2016 at $6 billion, with 99.4% comprising road freight.
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.