Google-supported startups trying to reinvent logistics in Africa

20 startups have been selected as part of the 5th edition of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Program. Among them are three companies seeking to reinvent logistics in African markets: Thumeza, Amitruck and Send.

Google’s prestigious Startups Accelerator Africa Program has selected 20 startups in Africa to receive support and mentorship from Google over the coming months. Among them are companies seeking to reinvent the logistics space in Africa, as well as innovative startups targeting payment, retail planning and healthcare.

The logistics startups to watch are:

  • Thumeza, a Zimbabwe based  logistics platform for enterprises. It offers two services:  Thumeza Last-Mile, an on demand delivery service to reach end consumers and Intransit, a data platform to optimize decision making for logistics companies.
  • Amitruck, a Kenya based startup looking to provide an Uber-like scheduler for delivery drivers, bringing more transparency and monitoring for customers using independent delivery services.
  • Send, a Nigeria-based freight forwarding platform that markets itself as “One Platform for African Trade”. As an Africa specialist, Send promises to handle all including regulatory requirements and documentation.

Disruptors in the logistics space have attracted a lot of attention after the levels of investment put into Nigerian freight logistics startup Kobo360 in 2019. Kobo360 provides an app that connects delivery drivers to delivery services. Founded in 2017, the company claims to have more than 10,000 drivers and trucks operating on its app across Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Kenya. In August 2019 it raised a $20m Series A round led by Goldman Sachs, as well as $10m in working capital financing from commercial banks in Nigeria. The funding will be used to upgrade its platform and expand to 10 new countries.

Other startups of note in this cohort of Google’s Startups Accelerator Africa Program are:

  • UzaPoint, a Kenyan enterprise retail planning tool and platform that seeks to improve the efficiency, profitability and business intelligence of small scale retail businesses. Amed at the traditional trade, it offers an online store in built with payment and delivery, a Point of Sale app with automated receipts, comprehensive stock management and customer management.
  • Ilara Health, a Kenyan SaaS healthtech service offering essential diagnostic support to patients with limited or no access to diagnostic healthcare services. Aiming to build a network of clinics in peri-urban communities, its key selling point is that its devices less than mainstream diagnostic devices cost and doctors pay only 10-20% upfront with financing partners covering 80-90% via loans. The company for founded by a former MD of Rocket Internet, who were the major shareholder in Jumia.
  • Adi + Bolga, a Ghanaian startup providing virtual skincare consultations and personalized product recommendations for black consumers. The service offers a skin test, product recommendations, tracking for whether a product works or not, and an online community.
  • CredPal, a Nigerian fintech startup which connects consumers to lenders willing to finance their purchases, which they pay back in fixed monthly installments. The service is designed to enable retail businesses to provide on-demand credit for consumers in Africa.