Lori Systems (“Lori”), a tech-enabled trucking logistics platform that is one of the fastest growing tech startups in Africa, have announced their expansion into three new countries: Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. More than 40% of grains moving through Kenya to Uganda now move through Lori’s platform. The announcement comes on the heels of pitching at TechCrunch Battlefield in San Francisco, and being named the overall winner of TechCrunch Battlefield Africa last fall.
In addition to the expansion, Lori recently won multiple bids associated with the newly built $4B railroad system in East Africa, with the joint goal of driving down the costs of goods in the region and unlocking the region’s growth potential.
The African haulage market is massive with $180bn of annual spend, and shipping costs are 3 times higher than those in the US due to lack of flexibility or centralized coordination (e.g. a mechanical failure at loading site will delay trucks for 4+ days). Through tech enabled logistics optimization, Lori has reduced haulage costs by up to 17%, in return reducing the cost of goods on the continent.
“We’re so excited to announce our working partnership with the Standard Gauge Rail in Kenya. In our continued efforts to bring down the costs of goods, we have been rapidly ramping up our operations to tackle massive transportation issues. We’ve already had success in bringing down direct costs of moving bulk grains, achieving a 17% reduction in Uganda,” said Josh Sandler, CEO of Lori Systems.
Lori’s recent partnership with Kuehne + Nagel will allow them to extract greater insight from their logistics data and drive informed action through improved technology, analytics, and operations. Lori is providing Kuehne + Nagel a customized, flexible solution to meet their specific needs and increase asset utilization and customer satisfaction. Similar partnerships have recently been launched with DHL and Cargill.
To further reduce transportation costs and respond to increased demand, Lori has recently brought on top talent from across Africa. Jean-Claude Homawoo, a Harvard Business School alum, joins Lori as Chief Product Officer from Google where he was a Product Lead. Prior to that, he was iROKO’s VP of Strategy. Andrew Musoke, Head of Commercial, is a former Vice President at JP Morgan and Harvard Business School alum from Uganda. Lori also recently brought on Mehul Bhatt to run the East African region as it focuses on pan-Africa expansion. Bhatt is the former CEO of Maersk Tankers India and ran one of biggest clearing and forwarding agencies in East Africa.
“We’ve opened new locations in Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda. Over the past year, we have grown rapidly – both in terms of throughput on the system as well as the team. Our team has grown from 15 to 70 since February and adds experience from organizations such as McKinsey, DHL, and NASA. Lori is focused on hiring the best talent in order to execute on bringing down the costs of goods across the continent,” Sandler said.