With global support, Africa's logistics start-up has won another round of multi-million dollars.
Kenyans Sendy, with an on-demand platform that connects customers with drivers and vehicles for the delivery of goods, has raised a $ 20 million Series B led by Atlantica Ventures.
Toyota Tsusho Corporation, a trade and investment arm of Japanese automaker Toyota, also participated in the round.
Sendys The increase will take place within six months after the Nigerian truck logistics startup Kobo360 bought Series A worth $ 20 million with the support of Goldman Sachs. In November, East African on-demand supplier Lori Systems raised $ 30 million that was supported by Chinese investors.
These companies have planned African expansion into each other's markets and across Africa. With its last round, Sendy is strengthening its competitive position in the continent's start-up logistics. The company plans to expand to West Africa in 2020, CEO Mesh Alloys TechCrunch said.
Alloys founded Sendy in 2015 together with the Kenyans Evanson Biwott and Don Okoth and the American Malaika Judd. The startup currently has offices in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. There are 5,000 vehicles on its platform that, according to Alloys, carry all types of goods.
Sendy offers e-commerce, corporate and freight delivery services for a customer list that includes Unilever. DHL, Maersk, Safaricom and African online retailer Jumia.
The company uses an asset-free model with an app that coordinates contract drivers who own their own vehicles, confirms deliveries, creates performance metrics, and manages payments.
About Sendy's business and earnings model: “We take a percentage of every transaction. We also facilitate services for drivers such as insurance, health insurance, vehicle finance, vehicle maintenance and fuel credits, ”said Alloys.
The company plans to use Series B funds for new hires and improve the technology. "Better operational efficiency is critical, so we invest in development teams and data teams and use talent to improve the services we provide to our customers," said Alloys.
Sendy's $ 20 million round includes an R&D agreement with Toyota Tsusho Corporation, the investment of which comes from an Africa-based company called Mobility 54.
"We will try to optimize the type of trucks that perform well in this market. We will also set up vehicle service centers with you," said Alloys.
Asia Africa Investment, Sunu Capital, Enza Capital, Vested World and Kepple Capital together with the main investor Atlantica Ventures have completed the $ 20 million round. With this, Sendy has total funding of $ 29 million, according to Alloys.
Atlantica Ventures was founded in 2019 and is a relatively new Africa-based VC fund co-founded by Aniko Szigetvari from Washington, DC. It confirmed the fund's lead over Sendy's Series B and that Atlantica Ventures will sit on the board of directors and work on strategic planning and execution with the company.
How Sendy will outperform rivals like Kobo360 and Lori Systems, Alloys points to the start-up platform. "Our customer service is superior and that is driven by our technology. I think we're technically far ahead of today's competition," he said.
Whoever advances, Africa's top business hubs – Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana – benefit from the innovative VC spending and start-up rivalries that benefit the on-demand goods delivery industry.
Although logistics services are not included in the World Bank ranking for business countries, they are known to be more expensive in Africa than in many parts of the world.
In the early days of online commerce development on the continent, pioneering ecommerce startups Jumia and Konga were forced to burn capital by building their own delivery services.
Years later, after Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange and expanded into several African countries, the delivery costs associated with the delivery remain one of the company's biggest expenses.
According to Alloys, it is of central importance for Sendy to reduce logistics costs for companies in Africa.
"We use technology to organize a marketplace so that companies can efficiently deliver to their customers while reducing overall costs," he said.