Popular Nigerian logistics startup, Kobo360, has announced that it is going to launch its services in Accra, Ghana. Kobo360 made this announcement after it recently launched in West Africa’s largest shipping port, Lome, Togo. Ghana is not the only country Kobo360 is expanding to after Togo. The logistics company is also making plans to open up its services to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
Kobo360 is being supported by a couple of African and international investors, including Y Combinator and TLcom. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is also part of the organisations sponsoring the African startup.
With the recent expansion moves, Kobo360 is looking to build a global logistic operating system (G-LOS) in Africa. The company seeks to use G-LOS to drive trade and commerce across Africa and emerging markets.
Currently, Kobo360 is introducing a beta operation in Ghana. For now, it is recording over 100 trips, having Olam Ghana as its client. In the coming weeks, Kobo expects to try the Kenyan market as well. The team from Kobo360 will meet with the drivers and give them the necessary tools needed to run the trips effectively.
Kobo360 is the giant of logistics in Nigeria, where it all started. Kobo covers about 80 percent of the country and records a 40 percent cost reduction in the supply chain. With such growth, the company now expects to expand to other major markets in Africa. It plans to operate in 9 countries in Africa by the end of 2019.
The Co-founder and CTO for Kobo360, Ife Oyedele, was present at the Africa CEO Forum in Kigali. At the forum, Oyedele said they estimate that for operations in Africa, they’d need 10 times the number of trucks to meet short-term activities, because rails don’t perform as expected.
The co-founder said Kobo360 expanding operations to Ghana will help serve customers across a seamlessly lined Pan-African market.
Kobo360 co-founder and CTO, Ife Oyedele’s statement
Below is excerpts of Kobo360’s co-founder’s statement at Africa CEO Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
“We estimate that Africa needs 10X the number of trucks to meet short-term commercial transport needs, since rail continue to underperform. Time, cost and quality are key drivers of success in logistics which is why we, at Kobo360, are building a global logistics operating system [G-LOS] that will ensure fast movement of goods at a lower cost for businesses across Africa.”
“Kenya is the hub of East Africa, it is the most innovative market in Technology and if we win here, we have won across the region. From here we will expand to Uganda and Tanzania. By adding Ghana to our West African territories of Togo and Nigeria, we will link all the market to a Global Logistics System and this will help us to serve our customers across a seamlessly lined Pan-African market. By this we create value to our customers as we are in all the key countries in the continent”.
“Location is a critical factor in global logistics, and each African country we’ve chosen to expand into has its own value proposition. These markets are among the fastest growing economies and we want to grow with them by supporting the thousands of freight companies who require a safe, reliable and cost effective delivery of their goods to cargo recipients across the continent.”
Closing the curtains
The Kobo team is currently recruiting top talents to join in its new territories —Togo, Ghana and Kenya. The search is being led by Bilal Abdullah, COO West Africa and Kagure Wanmuyu, COO East Africa. Officially, Kobo360 is expected to launch in Ghana on April 4 and somewhere in May in Kenya.
Kobo360 was launched in 2016. Since then it has partnered with top logistics companies like DHL, Dangote Group, Lafarge and Unilever. It has been able to transport over 297 million KG of goods and served over 1,450 businesses. Kobo360 believes it is disrupting the African logistics industry, which is estimated at $150Bn.