Nigerian logistics startup MVXchange launches new trade product

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Nigerian logistics startup MVXchange, which started life focusing on the energy industry, rolled out a new trade-focused product in March, though initial uptake has been hindered by COVID-19.

Launched in 2019, MVXchange is a tech-driven maritime platform that matches vessel charter requests with available Offshore Support Vessels (OSVs), helping users conveniently charter vessels while reducing man-hours, cutting costs and improving performance.

The startup launched its debut product, focused on the energy sector, in March 2019. MVXenergi has since on-boarded over 15 per cent of the OSVs operating in Africa, predominantly in West Africa, and and logged over 350 hire days. 

“We’ve helped match vessels to businesses in less than one hour from an industry average of 24-36 hours, and facilitated cost savings by providing users with more vessel options with fixed and predictable daily commissions instead of arbitrary daily markups,” said MVXchange founder Tonye Membere-Otaji.

The startup’s second product, MVXtransit, was launched in March of this year. A digital freight booking and management platform providing convenient and seamless door-to-door freight experience for African businesses and partners, MVXtransit was not launched at an opportune time.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t predict COVID-19 disrupting our strategy. It was a tough period to launch a trade product, regardless, our team quickly switched gears to focus on in-country haulage demand by providing river barges and tugs to move containers in and out of Apapa ports to avoid gridlock,” Membere-Otaji said.

“We gained early traction despite the difficult market conditions. Fortunately, trade activities have now picked up, we are able to provide import, export and customs brokerage services to businesses; corporates and SMEs. So far they have trusted us with over 100 shipments.” 

MVXchange closed a pre-seed funding round worth US$100,000 led by Oui Capital in 2019, and has since taken on more funding from Kepple Africa Ventures and Founders Factory Africa.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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