Global logistics — which is the process of managing the flow of goods through the supply chain — is a trillion-dollar industry that’s in dire need of a technological overhaul, with Africa nearing the top of the list.
Africa plays a huge role in transporting goods all around the world and requires a great deal of coordination between commercial and government sectors.
As the logistics system spans across languages, borders and customs, it also requires much assistance from a host of tech-based platforms as well.
Thanks to the business model of African supply-chain-focused company Sote, the continent’s narrative of being a rising global competitor has potential to grow as it ushers itself more into the tech space.
The company — co-founded by Felix Orwa and Meka Este-McDonald — has launched Africa’s first licensed tech-enabled customs clearing and forwarding service in order to build its digital logistics infrastructure up.
Moreover, today Sote announced that it has raised a $3 million seed round, bringing its total raise to date to $4.4 million. The round was largely led by early stage venture capital firm MaC Venture Capital, with
participation from other investors that include Acceleprise, Backstage Capital, Future Africa, and Rob Solomon — Chairman at GoFundMe.
In addition to the funding announcement, Marlon Nichols — Managing General Partner at MaC VC — also joins Sote’s Board of Directors.
According to a blog post from MaC Venture Capital, transforming the African logistics industry through tech-enhanced clearance and freight forwarding is the key to unlocking more economic growth.
As a tech-based company that provides solutions to its customers, industrial importers, and exporters, Sote aims to be a transparent resource for all parties involved in clearing and forwarding.
“We are positioning ourselves as a technology company that happens to provide supply chain services,” said Sote co-founder/CEO Felix Orwa. “By providing tech-enabled supply chain services, we introduce meaningful visibility and transparency to industrial importers and exporters such as
manufacturers and retailers in a space that traditionally runs on calls, text, emails, and paper.”
As part of its structured business model, Sote has outlined benefits for both its industrial importers and exporters as well as supply chain partners, which includes transporters and warehouses.
Benefits for Industrial Importers and Exporters
- Save money: Manufacturers, retailers and distributors who import and export cargo in bulk can track the entire import and export process on a real-time simple dashboard that reduces leakage and saves money
- Save time: Sote reduces their customers’ need to manage the supply chain by automating and simplifying the engagement between importers and exporters and the Sote operations team
Benefits for Supply Chain Partners – Transporters, Warehouses
- Sote works with its supply chain partners, transporters and warehouses, to produce productivity tools for the partner operations to perform optimally and scale efficiently
According to a press release, Sote, which is currently operating out of Kenya, has been growing at 33 percent month over month to address a $430 billion market as they organize the entire fragmented African supply chain into a single, useful platform.
Sote’s innovative technological solution has allowed them to scale fast at a rate 10 times more efficient than a traditional customs clearing and forwarding company.
“Sote’s central position in Africa’s supply chain is an opportunity to unify all the supply chain players in a single platform and provide ERP solutions to their customers and supply chain partners,” said MaC VC Founding Partner and Sote Board Member Marlon Nichols.
With the funds raised in this seed round, Sote will be able to introduce new software solutions to its customers and supply chain partners, expand to new markets, and scale its customer base over the next year targeting the 20 million import and export containers available in Africa.
For more information about Sote, visit its website.