African logistics company Lori Systems raises pre-Series B funding from Google

Lori Systems, an African digital logistics company, has recently secured an undisclosed amount of investment from Google, the third such investment by Google on the continent. The two companies Google had previously invested in as part of its $50 million Africa Investment Fund are SafeBoda and Carry1st. The fund was launched by Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, in October 2021 and was created to “support the continent’s digital transformation” as part of the US tech giant’s larger $1 billion investment in Africa over a period of 5 years.

This Lori investment follows the opening of Google’s first product development centre on the continent in Nairobi, Kenya, the city where Lori Systems was first established.

Founded in 2017 by Josh SandlerJean-Claude Homawoo, and Ernest Gichini Ngaruiy, Lori Systems operates largely in East Africa, with its base in Kenya, and has since expanded to Nigeria and South Africa. The company provides solutions in the cargo transportation sector by connecting cargo owners to transporters, helping shippers manage their cargo, and digitising all transport operations from sourcing to documentation and payments.

According to the company, it has assisted shippers and carriers to transport more than $10 billion worth of cargo across the continent. This achievement brought the company recognition from the Financial Times, which ranked it as Africa’s seventh fastest-growing company earlier this year.

“We’re excited to have Google as a partner as we continue to build the operating system for emerging market logistics. Our vision of the future of logistics in Africa is one that is digital, scalable and more efficient,” said Lori Systems CEO, Uche Ogboi. “We have been successful, achieving up to 20% price reduction for cargo owners and nearly 2x increase in truck utilisation for transporters on our platform. We are excited about this funding as it will allow us to continue driving superior efficiencies across logistics on the continent.”

Speaking on the undisclosed investment, Google’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Nitin Gajria, commented: “At Google, we understand the transformative power digitisation can bring to the African continent. There is so much potential in the region, but it’s only through innovation that this can be fully unlocked. Lori Systems is a great example of how technology can be scalable across Africa and how, in turn, this can drive meaningful economic development. We’re excited to see where the future takes a business like this.”