Kenyan logistics startup Sendy has completed a strategic equity investment in Ivory Coast-based counterpart Kamtar to boost the former’s expansion plans in West Africa.
Launched in 2015, Sendy offers a marketplace for last-mile package delivery and logistics services, allowing customers to send packages and documents using a mobile application that connects them to motorcycle riders, and drivers of vans and pickup trucks.
The startup is currently active in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, but announced in the wake of a US$20 million funding round last year that it planned to expand elsewhere. One of the investors in that round was Toyota Tsusho Corporation, and Sendy has now partnered with Mobility 54 Investment, Toyota Tsusho Corporation and CFAO’s venture capital arm, to acquire a significant stake in Kamtar.
Operating in Ivory Coast and Senegal, Kamtar is a digital logistics startup with 5,000 drivers on its network, which connects SMEs and corporate businesses to truckers and allows for effective delivery operations and cost savings by eliminating intermediaries. It is also developing a range of value-added-services to help their drivers access cheaper rates on all kinds of services linked to their activity, such as gas, insurance, spare parts or financing solutions.
Due to the strategic investment, Sendy will be able to accelerate its next phase of business growth by launching operations in West Africa and expanding its footprint beyond its current operations in Eastern Africa. For its cross-continent expansion, Sendy is focusing on strategic greenfield and mergers and acquisitions investments with partners in the supply chain and logistics sector.
Sendy will use its technology, expertise, and broader range of services to bolster Kamtar’s capabilities in Ivory Coast and Senegal, and to expand to other French-speaking West African countries by the end of 2022.
“This strategic investment will help us achieve Sendy’s long-term goal of expanding our West African presence and supporting our current customers looking to expand or enter the West African market. We share a joint vision with Kamtar to make it easier to trade across Africa and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with Kamtar on product development and technology solutions for customers across the region,” said Mesh Alloys, Sendy’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO).
Kamtar is owned by Saviu Ventures, an Africa-focused investor with a focus on early-stage startups in Francophone Africa.
“We are excited to partner with Sendy and look forward to the synergies that will be established between Kamtar’s expertise in Francophone Africa and Sendy’s African network,” said Arthur Thuet, Saviu Ventures managing partner and Kamtar’s president.
“Our goal is to combine the best of both companies to become the number one freight and logistics provider in the Francophone region.”