Lori Systems, a Kenyan based logistics startup that connects cargo owners with truck fleets has secured funding and strategic partnership from Imperial through its venture capital arm, The Imperial Venture Fund.
Imperial is an African and European-focused provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions. The Imperial Venture Fund is managed by Newtown Partners – a US venture capital firm.
The recently concluded investment in Lori Systems will support its growth in East and West Africa. The Imperial and Lori Systems partnership in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region will help develop and enhance Africa’s road freight industry through digital innovation and enablement.
“We believe that Lori solves a real problem when it comes to matching volatile demand and reliable supply in Africa’s highly fragmented road freight industry. As a business that is focused on efficient and innovative logistics and market access solutions, this is a crucial business investment for Imperial and the continent,” noted Mohammed Akoojee, Group CEO, Imperial.
Founded in 2016 by Josh Sandler and Ernest Gichini Ngaruiya, Lori’s tech-enabled and operations-driven marketplace efficiently connect transport to cargo. The supply chain management system brings transparency and has pushed significantly improved flexibility, reliability, and cost savings (savings upwards of 18%) according to the company.
“As a leading African logistics and market access player, innovation is at the heart of Imperial, and we couldn’t be more proud to partner with an industry veteran that embraces this digital disruption while expanding Lori’s reach across Southern Africa,” said Joshua Sandler, Co-Founder and CEO, Lori Systems.
Lori Systems has successfully driven efficiency across fragmented East and West African markets by providing end-to-end visibility for customers and integrations across the entire supply chain. This partnership brings together Lori’s technology and Imperial’s expertise in logistics to drive similar efficiencies in Southern African markets.
“We have considered many road freight investment opportunities on the African continent and believe that the Lori Systems team, product and the opportunity that presents itself through the Imperial partnership will create a lot of value,” said Llew Claasen, Managing Partner, Newtown Partners.
In 2019, the startup banked US$30 million in a Series A round of financing led by Chinese investors Hillhouse Capital Group and Crystal Stream Capital.
Lori Systems is actively operating in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It also launched in Nigeria in late September 2019.