Kenya-based digital trucking logistics startup Amitruck has announced today that it has secured $4m in a seed funding round that had the participation of investors from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.
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.
BTV’s General Partner Jake Gibson said Amitruck was selected for investment due to its high level of innovation and a growing need for its services.
“As an investor in unicorn CloudTruck startup here in the US, we have in-depth knowledge of the operational and financial requirements from truckers. While the trucking and logistic business in Africa has grown tremendously over the years, the pace of innovation particularly in its administration has been slow. Amitruck’s solution is ideal for bringing the industry into the 21st century.” he said
BTV previously invested in Cloudtrucks, the $850 million California-based startup that uses technology to bridge administrative bottlenecks for trucking businesses.
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.
Amitruck is a trucking logistics marketplace that allows transporters (owners of motorbikes, pick-ups, vans, and trucks) to find and connect with shippers through its mobile and web applications.
Transporters bid for work on the platform, ensuring competitive prices, while cargo owners have convenient access to a range of competitive offers and can choose a transporter based on price, rating, and experience.
With its expansion across Africa, the startup is hiring across its key functions, including sales, engineering, and customer success. Interested candidates are invited to apply athttps://www.amitruck.com/careers.