By Mark Kawalya
Lori Systems, a Kenyan-headquartered e-logistics firm, has secured a $50 million African Investments Fund from Google that was launched in October 2021.
Lori Systems has enabled thousands of shippers across Africa to move more than $10 billion of cargo since the company was started in 2017.
This early start made the company a pioneer in e-logistics in Africa, with its core being reducing the cost of goods by removing bottlenecks along the cargo value chain.
In Africa, firms operating in the logistics sector face a number of challenges ranging from inconsistent pricing, fragmented supply and demand forces, inconsistent paper documentation, and limited or no access to financing.
Knight Frank’s Logistics Africa report states that as much as 75% of a product’s price in Africa can be traced back to logistics, as compared to only 6% in the US.
Lori Systems works around some of the challenges by creating seamless linkages between shippers and transport businesses. The firm provides shippers with tangible solutions that enable them to efficiently manage the cargo they are transporting and their drivers. This is through the comprehensive digitization of the entire transport operations, from processes like sourcing transport to documentation and payments.
“At Google, we understand the transformative power digitization can bring to the African continent. There is so much potential in the region, but it is only through innovation that this can be fully unlocked,” says Google sub-Saharan Africa MD Nitin Gajria.
He further highlighted how Lori System falls into the category of businesses that have deployed technology into scalable models across Africa and how this is a driver of economic development.
Lori Systems cofounder Jean-Claude Homawoo said, “We are excited to see where the future takes a business like this. In recent years, the global logistics industry has seen much innovation. However, global supply chains are in dire need of modernization, with technologies yet to reach critical scale. “
Jean-Claude mentioned that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement is expected to spur an 81% increase in intra-African trade, leading to an opportunity basket of more than $21.9 billion in virgin trade potential that the 54 member countries will exploit over the next five years.