TechInAfrica — African on-demand logistics startup Lori Systems has secured a Series A round led by Chinese investors Hillhouse Capital and Crystal Stream Capital.
Other investors also participated such as Nigeria and US-based EchoVC, Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen, and Nigerian founder Iyinoluwa Aboyeji.
However, the amount of the Series A round for Lori Systems is undisclosed. DealStreet Asia reported the round amount at $30 million last Friday, but Lori Systems’ CEO Josh Sandler would not confirm that. That figure was “something lost in translation” and “a mischaracterization of the raise,” he said.
The company released a clarification to initial reporting in a Medium post. Regarding the reason for the non-disclosure, Lori Systems co-founder Jean-Claude Homawoo explained through a source, “Lori has never released fundraising details as we feel it is a vanity metric that distracts from what matters most: our mission of lowering the cost of goods in frontier markets.”
A recent report from Financial Times pegged Lori’s total funding raised at $20 million. In an SEC Form D filing in June Lori Systems released $29 million in equity, though the details were not given to which parties.
Lori Systems, which was founded in Kenya in 2016, provides mobile-based on-demand trucking logistics services through a network of drivers and merchant partners similar to Uber. So far, Lori Systems has operations in East Africa in Kenya and Uganda.
In September 2019 the company expanded to Nigeria, where it faces a competitor in a trucking logistics company, Kobo360.
“We are using the round to ramp up operations, build up our technology, and hire a best in class team…that can drive a global revolution in logistics,” Lori Systems CEO Josh Sandler said.
Recently the company hired Nigerian Uche Ogboi from EchoVC to fill the positions of CFO and former Quona Capital associate Efayomi Carr.
Lori Systems has won several awards including Startup Battlefield Africa in 2017.