Nigeria’s Y Combinator-Backed ‘Uber For Trucks’ Secures $30M Funding Led By Goldman Sachs

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Uber for Trucks
Nigerian logistics platform Kobo360’s co-founders Ife Oyedele (left) and Obi Ozor (right). The company has raised a Series A round of funding. Photo – Kobo360

A Nigerian e-logistics company co-founded by a former Uber employee plans to expand into 10 new African countries after securing $30 million in funding. 

Kobo360 helps to connect the supply of trucks with the demand for transportation services by cargo owners, and promotes itself as an “Uber for trucks”.

The company does business in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya. It is being credited with disrupting the logistics industry by reducing supply-chain costs by 40 percent.

Kobo360 was launched in 2017 by CEO Obi Ozor and chief technology officer Ife Oyedele, Ventureburn reports.

Ozor previously worked at Uber as an operations coordinator and was an investment banker at J.P. Morgan. Oyedele worked in various roles for companies including Mercedes Benz and the CFI Group before founding the tech startup with Ozor.

Kobo360 took part in the Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator program in July 2018 and YC has been an investor ever since.

The $30 million funding includes a $20-million Series-A equity round led by U.S.-based investment bank Goldman Sachs, with participation from existing investors Y Combinator, the International Finance Corporation and TLcom Capital, as well as Singapore-based investment firm Asia Africa Investment and Consulting, according to a Kobo360 blog post.

An additional $10 million in debt financing has been secured from Nigerian commercial banks.

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The Washington D.C.-based International Finance Corporation is a member of the World Bank Group. African VC firm TLcom Capital, which is focused on funding African tech startups, has offices in London, Lagos and Nairobi.

Kobo360 has partnered with global logistics brands including Dangote Group, DHL, Unilever and Lafarge. It has serviced more than 1,450 businesses and aggregates a fleet of 10,000 drivers and trucks.

In Nigeria, the Kobo360 platform covers more than 80 percent of the country.

‘Uber for trucks’ expanding in Africa

Kobo360 expects to use the funding to expand into 10 new countries in Central and Southern Africa by the end of 2020, in addition to its current operations in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya, CNBCAfrica reports.

Kobo360 raised a $6 million funding round in December 2018 with Silicon Valley investors Western Technology Investment and Y Combinator contributing to the round.

This is not the first time Goldman Sachs has backed an African tech startup

In 2018, South African fintech platform Jumo, a financial services platform for emerging markets, concluded a $64.5 million funding round led by the U.S. bank, according to the company.