Kenyan logistics startup Sote raises $4m seed extension to expand offering into fintech


Kenyan supply chain-focused Sote has raised a US$4 million seed extension round to expand its offering into the fintech space.

Founded in 2018, Sote launched its licensed tech-enabled customs clearing and forwarding service in 2020. The platform provides a real-time dashboard that allows manufacturers, retailers, and distributors visibility on shipment status, saving time and money. 

The startup grew its customer base by 370 per cent in the last year, and also saw revenue growth of 200 per cent. Having recently secured its Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification, Sote now aims to target larger customers in 2022 and exceed growth targets.

To finance this, the startup has raised a US$4 million seed extension round, bringing its total funds raised to date to US$8.4 million. The round was led by Social Capital, Chamath Palihapitiya’s fund, with the firm’s growth partner Ray Ko joining Sote’s board. It also included a small group of investors including Justin Saslow, Harry Hurst of Pipe, MaC Venture Capital, and K50 Ventures.

Sote now plans advancements into the fintech space, aiming to add to its end-to-end logistics freight forwarding service a full-service working capital loan solution for Africa’s end-to-end supply chain. Meanwhile, it has added to its team Samora Kariuki, as director of fintech, and John Bish, as CFO and M&A lead.

“Sote has always been about the people. A group of passionate individuals driven to build the future of Africa. We’re excited about bringing Samora and John under one roof with our logistics and engineering teams to create uniquely compelling solutions for our customers and the value chain beyond them,” said Felix Orwa, founder and CEO of Sote. 

“If the supply chain is composed of the flow of product, the flow of information, and the flow of cash, then Sote already controls the first two. With the launch of our fintech solution, we will have control and positive influence on all three. This creates a powerful flywheel effect with our customers as they find more holistic and convenient bundled services between logistics and capital solutions.”


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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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