As West Africa’s startup scene continues to thrive, innovators are using technology to further strengthen areas such as ecommerce, banking, healthcare and more.
Nigeria’s Kobo360 prove that gaining opportunities for greater development is always possible.
Y Combinator (YC), the seed accelerator, has accepted Kobo360 into its 2018 class. As a result, the company received $1.2 million in pre-seed funding. Western Technology took the lead in supporting this fund; and Verod Capital Management played a part. Kobo360 plan to use the money to pay drivers digitally after completed hauls.
Kobo360 is a useful startup for those in the logistics sector and companies searching for truckers. The app pairs Nigerian truck drivers to companies with freight needs. Rates are affordable and flexible for companies looking to hire truckers. Drivers receive an instant payment.
Founder, Obi Ozor, established the company due to a lack of access to vehicle finance options for truck drivers in the country. In an interview with TechCrunch he said, “We hope KoboWIN…will inject 20,000…[additional] trucks on the Kobo platform.”
The company is a positive influence and a necessity for individuals in the trucking, as it creates a networking space and a digital-communication tunnel for drivers, enhancing their careers and supplying companies with the correct driver.
On average, a trucker can make $3,500 month, which places them in Nigeria’s middle-class section of society.
Kobo360’s app is active and serves its purpose. The app organises 5,000 trips a month, and according to its statistics, the company has served: 324 businesses, gathered 5480 drivers and handled 37.6 million kilograms of cargo since 2017.
Some of its most popular clients include Honeywell, Olam, Unilever and DHL. Kobo360 is building a good reputation, and Ozor believes the company’s asset-free digital method and affordable prices can outperform traditional long-haul 3PL suppliers in Nigeria.
“Owning trucks is just too difficult to manage. The best scalable model is to aggregate trucks,” he said. “We now have more trucks than providers like TSL and they’ve been here….years. By the end of this year we plan to have 20,000 trucks on our app — probably more than anyone on this continent.”
Promising plans lay in Kobo360’s future. It aims to extend its reach to Ghana this year and countries such as Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal. The company will expand its drivers’ catalogue, and the app will be available in hausa and pidgin, which are widely used languages by drivers.
Kobo360 will present its business at an August Demo Day to YC investors.
YC supports startups with seed funding. This type of fund is the earliest part of project financial support. It covers a startup’s expenses in the pilot stages.