Bifasor, a matchmaking platform and marketplace for transport and logistics professionals, is set to launch in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in July, with beta tests also scheduled for Ghana and Ivory Coast before a full commercial launch in October.
The Bifasor concept comprises of a matchmaking platform, where registered businesses can find partners and customers while also managing their businesses through a single dashboard, and a marketplace, where dealers of spare parts and logistical equipment and services can sell to actors in the sector.
With trade volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa expected to nearly quadruple to 384.6 million tonnes by 2030, according to Frost & Sullivan, the Bifasor team has developed a solution for everyone involved in the supply chain, particularly targeting small and medium-sized transport and logistics companies.
“The transportation and logistics sector in Africa suffers from several problems that hinder its operation: a fragmented structure; dilapidated truck fleets; high costs; shortcomings in organisation, management, and access to information,” communications manager Rym Soussi told Disrupt Africa.
“This fragmentation has given way to informal intermediaries who have put themselves in charge of linking shippers, forwarders and carriers in exchange for exorbitant commissions. Their informal nature removes any responsibility for quality of service, thus inducing impacts across the entire supply chain: delays, high prices, financial loss, slowed activity.”
Bifasor aims to address this lack of transparency in the supply chain and the general lack of visibility of smaller actors in the industry. With nearly 90 per cent of small and micro enterprises in the logistics sector in Africa having neither a website nor a marketing department, presence on the platform will assist such companies in gaining visibility.
“By concentrating all actors in the supply chain in the same place, Bifasor facilitates the integration and flow of logistics activities by reinforcing cooperation among all the actors and ancillary parties to the supply chain,” Soussi said.
“This system aims to replace the traditional mode for passing information, which is by word of mouth. It will make it easy for interested parties to find providers that meet their specific criteria or to optimise their business by finding new customers.”
The platform will launch with a freemium service, while a wider array of functionalities will be available via a paid subscription. Bifasor will also monetise through advertising and commissions on sales through its marketplace.
The startup is currently incubated at Paris Pionnieres, and supported by the French Tech Ticket, a programme of the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.