Saturday, March 23, 2019 UTC

AGF Magazine - March 2019 issue

  • We focus on fixed income opportunities in both public and private markets. Read on to find in which fixed income instruments and in which African markets to invest on pp. 10-11. In addition, Ashley Benatar of Ashburton Investments shares his views on benefits and risks of investing in mezzanine debt on p.22.
  • We speak with Jérémie Ceyrac, Head of Equity, Responsible Investments at Proparco to learn more about the French development institution, financial products on offer, recent investments in Africa and African impact investment scene (pp. 13-15).
  • This month’s market feature focuses on Nigeria. Sven Richter, Fund Manager, Drakens Capital, writes about his recent trip to the West African country and his observations. “While Nigeria is attractive as an investment destination, the GDP growth is a disappointment for a county that we expect to be one of the leaders in Africa,” he says (pp. 16-17).
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News > Investors

IFC leads seed round for Kobo360

Africa Global Funds
Dec. 19, 2018, 10:09 p.m.
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Word count: 406

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a $6m equity investment in Kobo360, a tech-enabled e-logistics platform that connects the supply of trucks with the demand for transportation services by cargo owners in Nigeria. 

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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a $6m equity investment in Kobo360, a tech-enabled e-logistics platform that connects the supply of trucks with the demand for transportation services by cargo owners in Nigeria. 

The investment was led by the IFC with participation from others including Silicon Valley investors WTI, YCombinator, and African institutional investors Cardinal Stone Partners, Chandaria Capital, and TLcom. 

Kobo360 improves access to long-haul road freight services for large and small enterprises in the rapidly growing agribusiness, fast moving consumer goods, and manufacturing sectors. 

The company currently has 5,000 trucks empaneled on its platform, from over 600 small fleet owners, serving some of the largest enterprises in Nigeria. 
 
“IFC is committed to supporting the digital economy and young entrepreneurs in Nigeria and across Africa. IFC’s investment in Kobo demonstrates how disruptive technologies can enhance the development of key sectors and contribute to Nigeria’s economic diversification. This is an innovative startup that is making company operations more efficient and lowering transport costs,” said Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of IFC. 

Efficient logistics is a core component to growth, transportation and mobility feeds into levels of output, employment and income within a national economy accounting for 6-25% of GDP in developed countries.  

Nigerian road freight accounts for 99 percent of long-haul transportation, a sector plagued by inefficiencies including low utilization of truck assets, low visibility on truck movement, lack of pricing transparency, and insufficient supply of trucks. 

Trips can take more than three times as long and cost twice the price in Nigeria compared with similar distance routes in the US. Kobo app solves these challenges and inefficiencies. 

Obi Ozor, CEO and Founder of Kobo, said: “We are excited to have our new investors to support us in redesigning transportation and logistics in Africa, and across Emerging Markets, by building a Global Logistics Operating System (G-LOS) to power new frontiers in trade and commerce.” 

“Our motivation remains to aggressively reduce logistics frictions for large enterprises and SMEs, and connect new markets, and in the process unlock better wellbeing and opportunities across communities.” 

Kobo is the latest addition to IFC’s growing venture capital portfolio of e-mobility startups in frontier markets.

IFC supports the mobile technology sector to help promote social inclusion and business growth.  

Over the past three years, IFC has invested over $1.5bn in telecommunication, technology, and startup companies globally. 

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