Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 accepted into YC, raises $1.2 million – TechCrunch

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When Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 interviewed for Y-Combinator’s 2018 cohort a query stood out to founder Obi Ozor. “‘What’s holding you again from turning into a Unicorn?’ they requested. My reply was easy: ‘working capital,’” stated Ozor.

Kobo360 was accepted into YC’s 2018 class and gained some working capital within the type of $1.2M in pre-seed funding spherical led by Western Know-how Funding introduced this week. Lagos primarily based Verod Capital Administration additionally joined to assist Kobo360.

The startup — with an Uber -like app that connects Nigerian truckers to corporations with freight wants — will use the funds to pay drivers on-line instantly after profitable hauls.

Kobo360 can also be launching the Kobo Wealth Funding Community, or KoboWIN—a crowd-invest, automobile financing program. By means of it Kobo drivers can finance new vehicles via citizen buyers and pay them again immediately (with curiosity) over a 60 month interval.

Ozor stated Kobo360 created the platform due to restricted automobile finance choices for truckers in Nigeria.  “We hope KoboWIN…will inject 20,000…[additional] vehicles on the Kobo platform,” he instructed TechCrunch.

On Kobo360’s utility, “We give drivers the demand and expertise to energy their companies,” stated Ozor. “A median trucker will make $three,500 a month with our app. That’s center class territory in Nigeria.”

Kobo360 has served 324 companies, aggregated a fleet of 5480 drivers, and moved 37.6M kilograms of cargo since 2017, per firm stats. Prime purchasers embody Honeywell, Olam, Unilever, and DHL.

Ozor beforehand headed Uber Nigeria, earlier than teaming up with Ife Oyodeli to co-found Kobo360. They initially focused 3PL for Nigeria’s e-commerce increase — specifically Jumia (now Africa’s first unicorn) and Konga (lately bought in a distressed acquisition).

“We began doing final mile supply…however the quantity simply wasn’t there for us, so we determined to pivot…to an asset free mannequin round long-haul trucking,” stated Ozor.

Kobo360 was accepted into YC’s Summer season ’18 batch—receiving $120Okay for 7 % fairness—and can current at an August Demo Day in entrance of YC Traders. “We have been impressed by each Obi and Ife as founders.  They have been rising rapidly and had a robust imaginative and prescient for the corporate,” YC companion Tim Brady instructed TechCrunch.

Kobo360’s app at the moment coordinates 5000 journeys a month, in accordance with Ozor. He thinks the startup’s asset free, digital platform and enterprise mannequin can outpace conventional long-haul 3PL suppliers in Nigeria by dealing with extra quantity at cheaper costs.

“Proudly owning vehicles is simply too tough to handle. The most effective scalable mannequin is to combination vehicles,” he stated. “We now have extra vehicles than suppliers like TSL and so they’ve been right here….years. By the tip of this 12 months we plan to have 20,000 vehicles on our app—in all probability greater than anybody on this continent.”

On worth, Ozor named the power of the Kobo360 app to extra precisely and constantly coordinate return freight journeys as soon as truckers have dropped off first hundreds.

“Logistics in Nigeria have been priced primarily based on the idea drivers are going to run empty on the best way again…Once we now match freight with return journeys, costs crash.”

Kobo360 is worthwhile, in accordance with Ozor. Although he wouldn’t present precise figures, he stated reviewing the corporate’s monetary efficiency was a part of YC’s vetting course of.

Logistics has change into an energetic area in Africa’s tech sector with startup entrepreneurs connecting digital to supply fashions. In Nigeria, Jumia founder Tunde Kehinde departed and based Africa Courier Specific. Startup Max.ng is wrapping an app round bikes as an e-delivery platform. Nairobi primarily based Lori Techniques has moved into digital coordination of trucking in East Africa. And U.S. primarily based Zipline is working with the federal government of Rwanda and companion UPS to grasp business drone supply of medical provides on the continent.

Kobo360 will broaden in Togo, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, and Senegal. “We’ll be in Ghana this 12 months and subsequent 12 months the opposite nations,” stated Ozor.

Along with KoboWIN, it should additionally add extra driver coaching and security packages.

“We’re driver centered. Drivers are the important thing to our success. Even our app is driver centered,” stated Ozor. Kobo360 will launch a brand new model of its app in Hausa and Pidgin this August, each native languages widespread to drivers.

“Execution is the important thing factor in logistics. It needs to be dependable, inexpensive, and it needs to be execution centered,” stated Ozor. “If drivers are handled effectively, they will ship issues on time.”



Supply hyperlink – https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/28/nigerian-logistics-startup-kobo360-accepted-into-yc-raises-1-2-million/

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