While it may be faster for African businesses to trade goods with other partners outside of the continent, it also makes them more dependent on exports and prevents new markets from being created. To combat this, Ghanaian-based company Jetstream is proposing its own solution.
Jetstream — which operates as a vertical broker between the fragmented and often-hidden segments of cross-border supply chains in Africa — uses technology in order to simplify the process of moving cargo across borders, per its company website.
Today, its mission has become focused on “white labeling the systems built internally to manage shipments and financing for customers,” according to TechCrunch, and the startup just closed a $3 million seed round to continue this work.
The outlet reports that the funding round included both local and international investors as participants, such as Alitheia IDF, Golden Palm Investments, 4DX Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Asia Pacific Land, Breyer Labs and MSA Capital.
When Jetstream was founded by co-founders Miishe Addy and Solomon Torgbor back in 2018, they recognized issues at African ports that caused delays in exports and a lot of errors. So, their idea for a digital solution was to create a company that would allow African businesses to see and control their cross-border supply chains online.
“We are different from a more siloed freight management system because we are leveraging financing to integrate the customs brokers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, airlines, and container terminals all onto the Jetstream platform so that shipments can be managed and tracked every step of the way,” Addy tells TechCrunch. “We are bringing many of the local providers online for the first time.”
The past year in the pandemic only gave Jetstream a more clear direction of how the platform could be of better service to African ports, and now its making it possible for cross-border trade corridors to be transferred online and increase commerce growth on the continent.
“We see a future where trade running on Jetstream’s digital rails has a powerful competitive edge on logistics,” Addy continued. “Jetstream is to cross-border logistics what Flutterwave is to fintech in Africa.”
Jetstream is starting its work in Ghana to capitalize on capturing as much value for the company and will expand from there. TechCrunch shares that COO Torgbor even calls the country a “springboard for intracontinental trade and intercontinental trade with other fast-growing emerging markets.”
For more information about Jetstream, visit its website.