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Google Invests in Lori Systems to Enhance Digital Transport Management in Africa

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Google on Tuesday announced that it has invested in Lori Systems,  an e-logistics company digitising haulage and providing shippers with solutions to efficiently manage  cargo and transporters.

Lori Systems was named by the Financial Times earlier this year as Africa’s seventh fastest-growing company, has helped thousands of shippers and carriers move over $10B of cargo across the continent since its founding in 2017.

According to Knight Frank’s Logistics Africa report, 75% of the price of a product in Africa is attributed to logistics (compared to just 6% in the U.S.). On the continent, logistics operators face a host of problems; from fragmented supply and demand markets to inconsistent pricing, paper documentation and little or no access to financing.

A pioneer in e-logistics in Africa, Lori Systems lowers the cost of goods by eliminating pain points along the cargo journey: seamlessly connecting shippers to transportation, providing shippers with solutions to efficiently manage their cargo and transporters, and digitizing their entire transport operations from sourcing transportation to documentation and payments.

This new investment is the third from Google’s $50 Million Africa Investment Fund, which CEO Sundar Pichai announced in October 2021. It comes off the back of the launch of Google’s first product development center on the continent, in Nairobi, Kenya, the city where Lori Systems first launched.

“At Google, we understand the transformative power digitisation can bring to the African continent. There is so much potential in the region, but it’s only through innovation that this can be fully unlocked.

“Lori Systems is a great example of how technology can be scalable across Africa, and how, in turn, this can drive meaningful economic development.

“We’re excited to see where the future takes a business like this.” comments Nitin Gajria, Google’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Jean-Claude Homawoo, Lori Systems Co-founder & CPO, comments, “In recent years the global logistics industry has seen much innovation.

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“However global supply chains are in dire need of modernization, with technologies yet to reach critical scale.

“On the continent, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to lead to an 81% increase in intra-African trade, providing a $21.9 Billion opportunity in untapped trade potential that the 54 ratifying countries are hoping to capitalize on over the next 5 years. Logistics is key to unlocking this opportunity.”

“We’re excited to have Google as a partner as we continue to build the operating system for emerging market logistics. Our vision of the future of logistics in Africa is one that is digital, scalable and more efficient.” said Lori Systems CEO Uche Ogboi.

“We have been successful, achieving up to 20% price reduction for cargo owners and nearly 2x increase in truck utilization for transporters on our platform. We are excited about this funding as it will allow us to continue driving superior efficiencies across logistics on the continent.”

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