KENYA – Lori Systems, an on-demand logistics and trucking startup that digitises haulage and offers shippers options to manage their cargo and transporters, has secured a pre-Series B investment to expand its product lines and turn a profit.

Google and other previous investors participated. This new investment is the third from Google’s US$50 Million Africa Investment Fund, which CEO Sundar Pichai announced in October 2021.

It comes off the back of the launch of Google’s first product development centre on the continent, in Nairobi, Kenya, the city where Lori Systems first launched.

According to sources, the company raised at a somewhat higher valuation than its previous $110 million valuation in 2020.

“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% 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.”

Founded in 2017 by Josh Sandler, Jean-Claude Homawoo, and Ernest Gichini Ngaruiy, Lori Systems operates largely in East Africa, with its base in Kenya, and has since expanded to Nigeria and South Africa.

The company provides solutions in the cargo transportation sector by connecting cargo owners to transporters, helping shippers manage their cargo, and digitising all transport operations from sourcing to documentation and payments.

According to the company, it has assisted shippers and carriers to transport more than US$10 billion worth of cargo across the continent.

This achievement brought the company recognition from the Financial Times, which ranked it as Africa’s seventh fastest-growing company earlier this year.

“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,” Google’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Nitin Gajria, commented.

“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.”

Google launched its first investment in Ugandan super app SafeBoda in December. During the announcement, Sub-Saharan Africa managing director Nitin Gajria stated that the Africa Investment Fund would not be limited to specific verticals or areas.

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