Lori Systems, an African on-demand digital logistics and trucking company, has officially raised a pre-Series B round in which Google, along with other notable investors, participated.
The amount of the investment has been left undisclosed and is Google’s third from the $50 million Africa Investment Fund targeted at supporting Africa’s newest startups. The fund, which was launched last October by Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, is part of the company’s plan to invest $1 billion in “tech-led initiatives” over the next five years.
The other two companies to have benefited from the Google investments are SafeBoda and Carry1st. Google announced its first investment last December when it plugged into Uganda’s super application SafeBoda. One month later, the fund followed it up by participating in the 20 million USD Series-A extension round by South African games publisher and studio Carry1st.
Earlier this year, Lori Systems was ranked by the Financial Times as the seventh fastest-growing African company. The company has been in operation since 2017, and despite being primarily a Kenyan enterprise, the company also has arms in other African countries such as Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa. The company is renowned for digitising haulage and providing solutions in the cargo transportation sector by connecting cargo owners to transporters.
Uche Ogboi, Chief Executive Officer Lori Systems, spoke on the development, saying: “We are excited to have Google as a partner as we continue to build the operating system for emerging market logistics. Our vision of the future of logistics in Africa is one that is digital, scalable and more efficient.
“We have been successful, achieving up to 20% price reduction for cargo owners and a nearly 2x increase in truck utilisation for transporters on our platform. We are excited about this funding as it will allow us to continue driving superior efficiencies across logistics on the continent.”
Lori’s last raise was almost three years ago, which is a long time for a company of its calibre. Uche Ogboi explained the reason in an interview with TechCrunch, claiming that the company has been “focusing on growth, sustainability and a path to profitability since its last funding round.”
Speaking on the undisclosed investment, Google’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Nitin Gajria, also commented on the investment, saying: “At Google, we understand the transformative power digitisation can bring to the African continent. There is so much potential in the region, but it’s only through innovation that this can be fully unlocked. Lori Systems is a great example of how technology can be scalable across Africa and how, in turn, this can drive meaningful economic development. We’re excited to see where the future takes a business like this.”