Kenya-based digital trucking logistics startup Amitruck has secured $4 million in seed funding to expand its operations across Africa.
The fundraising was led by Better Tomorrow Ventures (BTV), a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that targets early-stage startups. Also in the round were supply chain and mobility venture capital Dynamo Ventures, an investor to Berlin-based Digital Freight Forwarding unicorn, Sennder GmbH. Other investors included Rackhouse Ventures, founded by Kevin Novak, one of the early members of Uber Freight; Flexport Inc, a digital freight forwarding and customs brokerage company based in San Francisco; Knuru Capital, Launch Africa Ventures, the Uncovered Fund, and several strategic angel investors.
Amitruck’s CEO and Founder, Mark Mwangi, said the funding will be used to lead the startup’s expansion across Africa and to hire teams across its technical, operations, and sales units, including senior leadership.
“We are thrilled about the positive response that Amitruck has received from cargo owners and transporters alike. Transport touches on almost every sector of the African economy and is crucial to its development; we are excited to be part of that journey. Thanks to the support from our investors, we look forward to expanding our footprint across Africa and bringing more carriers and shippers to our marketplace,” he said.
Amitruck was founded in 2019 to streamline the trucking business in Africa, which had, hitherto, been informal, fragmented, and based on archaic manual systems that unnecessarily increased operating costs.
As a result of the informal arrangements that a majority of the continent’s trucking operations have been based on, the cost of transportation remains five times higher than in developed countries, and the final cost of goods can be up to 60 percent more.
With Amitruck, clients connect directly with transporters eliminating the cost-prohibitive middlemen. Moreover, the vehicles and drivers on the platform are keenly vetted for quality and reliability, and the customers’ goods are insured against loss or damage. It is this convenience, security, efficiency, and competitive pricing that has seen the startup’s database grow to over 8,000 vehicles, which have in just over two years completed almost 100,000 deliveries for more than 300 corporate clients.
Consequently, its revenue grew 1,000 percent in 2021, despite the limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The startup’s revenues had grown 400 percent in the previous year, based on rising popularity from up to 30 percent in cost-savings for clients.
Amitruck is eyeing market dominance in the Africa trucking and logistics market, which accounts for almost 80 percent of transported goods. The startup participated in the JICA-backed Ninja Accelerator program in 2021 and was also accepted to the Google-backed Black Founders Fund Accelerator as well as AbInbev’s Budstart Accelerator program later that year.