Emerging and Growth Markets | August 18, 2022

Lori Systems clinches investment from Google to improve the flow of goods across Africa

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, August 18 – In Africa, where infrastructure is underdeveloped and fragmented, there’s an impact case in almost every logistics deal. Companies like Twiga Foods, TradeDepot and MaxAB have raised hundreds of millions of dollars to digitalize local logistics and retail infrastructure. Kenya-based Lori Systems is digitalizing long-haul cargo transport to reduce the cost of goods in frontier markets.

The woman-led company has designed an Uber-for-truck-drivers that operates in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria.

It secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Google’s $50 million Africa Investment Fund. Google’s Nitin Gajria said Lori is an “example of how technology can be scalable across Africa and how, in turn, this can drive meaningful economic development.”

Consumer impact

Lori says the high cost of logistics accounts for as much as 60% of the price on some products in Africa. “This is how a mango that goes for only five Kenyan shillings at the farm gate ends up with a 70-shilling price tag at the supermarket shelf in Nairobi.”

Lori’s thesis is that a more efficient logistics sector will result in lower prices for consumers. 

On the move

VC investment into Africa’s logistics and transport sector is booming despite the tech downturn. Startups have raised more than $366 million so far this year, nearly matching the $400 million raised over the whole of 2021, according to Africa: The Big Deal’s database. Egypt’s Naqla, with a platform similar to Lori’s, raised $10.5 million in March.