Kenya’s Lori Systems secures Google funding to help expand digital transport management across Africa

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The Nairobi-based Lori Systems, an e-logistics company digitising haulage and providing shippers with solutions to efficiently manage their cargo and transporters, has raised funding from Google to help it to continue to expand across the continent.

Founded in 2016, Lori Systems provides supply chain management solutions to cargo owners, ensuring flexibility, reliability and cost savings. So far, the startup has helped thousands of shippers and carriers move over US$10 billion worth of cargo across the continent, and it is now active in 13 countries, including Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Nigeria.

Lori secured secured funding and support from Imperial, an African and European-focused provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions, back in 2020, and it has now added Google to its roster of investors as it plans to continue expansion to frontier markets across the continent and beyond.

“We’re excited to have Google as a partner as we continue to build the operating system for emerging market logistics. Our vision of the future of logistics in Africa is one that is digital, scalable and more efficient,” said Lori Systems CEO Uche Ogboi. 

“We have been successful, achieving up to 20 per cent price reduction for cargo owners and nearly 2x increase in truck utilisation for transporters on our platform. We are excited about this funding as it will allow us to continue driving superior efficiencies across logistics on the continent.”

This new investment is the third from Google’s US$50 million Africa Investment Fund, which CEO Sundar Pichai announced in October 2021, and also comes off the back of the launch of Google’s first product development centre in Africa – also in Nairobi, Kenya.

“At Google, we understand the transformative power digitisation can bring to the African continent. There is so much potential in the region, but it’s only through innovation that this can be fully unlocked. Lori Systems is a great example of how technology can be scalable across Africa, and how, in turn, this can drive meaningful economic development. We’re excited to see where the future takes a business like this,” said Nitin Gajria, Google’s managing director for Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Jean-Claude Homawoo, Lori Systems co-founder and CPO, said the global logistics industry had seen much innovation in recent years. 

“However global supply chains are in dire need of modernisation, with technologies yet to reach critical scale. On the continent, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to lead to an 81 per cent increase in intra-African trade, providing a US$21.9 billion opportunity in untapped trade potential that the 54 ratifying countries are hoping to capitalise on over the next 5 years. Logistics is key to unlocking this opportunity,” he said.

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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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