- Amitruck 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 company will use the new funding to expand its presence across Africa and hire new talent
- Better Tomorrow Ventures (BTV), a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that targets early-stage startups, led the funding
Amitruck receives funding
Amitruck receives funding of around $4m in a seed funding round that had the participation of investors from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.
Better Tomorrow Ventures (BTV), a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that targets early-stage startups, led the funding.
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 would lead the startup’s expansion across Africa and 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 it selected Amitruck because of 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 over the years, 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 startups that use technology to bridge trucking business administrative bottlenecks.
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.
Because 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 per cent more.
With Amitruck, clients connect directly with transporters, eliminating the cost-prohibitive intermediaries. The vehicles and drivers on the platform are keenly vetted for quality and reliability, and the customers’ goods are insured against loss or damage.
This convenience, security, efficiency, and competitive pricing 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 over 300 corporate clients.
Its revenue grew 1,000 per cent in 2021, despite the limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The startup’s revenues had grown 400 per cent in the previous year, based on rising popularity from up to 30 per cent in cost-savings for clients.
Amitruck partnered with IMFact, a Smart Finance alternative to traditional bank lending for Kenyan SMEs in supply chain businesses.
The partnership will enable Amitruck to increase its financial stability and optimise its working capital, thus eliminating constraints related to overhead costs and long payment cycles.
According to IMFact Commercial Director Derrick Lwatati, “IMFact offers clients the ability to grow their business by turning their debtor portfolio immediately into cash. Also known as factoring, this method allows IMFact clients to use the cash we inject into their businesses to purchase more goods or optimise payments to their suppliers.”
“As IMFact clients access cash immediately, they can extend favourable payment terms to their clients or even offer upfront credit as a strategy to secure new business, which ensures they generate more sales,” he added.
Factoring differs from the traditional invoice discounting offered by banks, which focuses on single invoices for large institutions coupled with collateral demands. Instead, it seeks to understand the business and its operating environment and data related to the potential for growth.
“We have affiliated with Amitruck because of their innovative approach to solving the inefficiencies in the logistics sector. Their solutions have disrupted the local transport market and given them an edge over other trucking and logistics companies,” Lwatati said.
Trucking logistics companies usually face challenges in allocating funds to fuel trucks, paying drivers, and maintaining professional standards. IMFact’s financing bridges the gap to enable transporters to run their businesses efficiently and affordably.
“We have been able to realise financing with IMFact at attractive commercial terms, and we especially like the flexibility it offers. This means that we can use exactly the amount of financing we need with no additional costs as bank financing would have,” Mwangi said.