Google invests in Kenyan e-logistics firm Lori Systems
This new investment is the third from Google’s $50 million dollars Africa Investment Fund, announced by CEO Sundar Pichai in October 2021
Google has invested in Lori Systems, an e-logistics company that digitizes haulage and provides shippers with solutions to efficiently manage cargo and transporters. Nairobi-based Lori has built an e-logistics platform that is revolutionizing the cargo-transport value chain in frontier markets – from the ground up.
According to the company's website, the relative cost of moving goods in Africa is one of the highest in the world, leading to up to 75% of product costs going to logistics (compared to 6% in the US). Lori Systems has said in a statement that it has reportedly helped thousands of shippers and carriers move over $10 billion dollars worth of cargo across the continent since its founding in 2016. The company was also named Africa's seventh fastest-growing company, by Financial Times earlier this year.
The Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Google, Nitin Gajria said in a statement that this new investment is the third from Google's $50 million dollars Africa Investment Fund, announced in October 2021 which was targeted at the continent's early- and growth-stage startups. The size of the stake was also not disclosed. Google's US$50-million Africa Investment Fund, was announced by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in October 2021.
Gajria further said that the investment came around the time of the launch of Google's first product development center on the continent, in Nairobi, Kenya, the city where Lori Systems first launched. According to him, the continent, logistics operators face a host of problems; from fragmented supply and demand markets to inconsistent pricing, paper documentation, and little or no access to financing.
Lori Systems, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Uche Ogboi said that the company was excited to have Google as a partner, as the organization continued to build the operating system for emerging market logistics. She reportedly told a publication that the company had been successful, achieving up to 20 percent price reduction for cargo owners and a nearly 2 times increase in truck utilization for transporters on the Lori platform.
''We are excited about this funding as it will allow us to continue driving superior efficiencies across logistics on the continent," she said.