NIGERIAN LOGISTICS STARTUP KOBO 360 ACCEPTED INTO Y COMBINATOR, RAISES $1.2MILLION
Kobo360 was accepted into YC’s 2018 class and gained some working capital in the form of $1.2 million in pre-seed funding led by Western Technology Investment announced recently. Africa Future Limited, a Lagos based angel investment fund, also contributed to the round.
The startup — with an Uber-like app that connects Nigerian truckers to companies with freight needs — will use the funds to pay drivers online immediately after successful hauls.
When Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 interviewed for Y Combinator’s 2018 cohort, a question stood out to founder Obi Ozor. “What’s holding you back from becoming a unicorn?” they asked. “My answer was simple,” said Ozor. “Working capital.”
Kobo360 is also launching the Kobo Wealth Investment Network, or KoboWIN — a crowd-invest, vehicle financing program. Through it, Kobo drivers can finance new trucks through citizen investors and pay them back directly (with interest) over a 60-month period.
On Kobo360’s utility, “We give drivers the demand and technology to power their businesses,” said Ozor. “An average trucker will make $3,500 a month with our app. That’s middle-class territory in Nigeria.”
Kobo360 has served 324 businesses, aggregated a fleet of 5480 drivers and moved 37.6 million kilograms of cargo since 2017, per company stats. Top clients include Honeywell, Olam, Unilever and DHL.
Ozor previously was a Driver Operations Manager at Uber Nigeria, before teaming up with Ife Oyodeli to co-found Kobo360. They initially targeted 3PL for Nigeria’s e-commerce boom — namely Jumia (now Africa’s first unicorn) and Konga (recently purchased in a distressed acquisition).
“We started doing last-mile delivery…but the volume just wasn’t there for us, so we decided to pivot…to an asset-free model around long-haul trucking,” said Ozor.