November 19, 2018 / 9:58 AM / a month ago

Kenyan logistics start-up Sendy plans second fundraising

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan tech start-up Sendy, which operates an app linking delivery drivers with customers, is embarking on a second round of fundraising to expand in East Africa, its chief operating officer said on Monday.

An employee of tech start-up Sendy, which offers online logistics services, works on her computer at their office in Nairobi, Kenya, October 30, 2018. Picture taken October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Sendy, used by around 4,000 businesses and 50,000 individuals, was founded four years ago and has so far raised $3 million.

“We will be doing a series B investment round hopefully before the end of the year,” Malaika Judd told Reuters, without giving a target amount. “We don’t want to be a small family logistics business, we want to be a tech platform that can solve logistics challenges across the world.”

Investors in Sendy, which says it has modeled itself on other logistics platforms such as Indonesia’s Go-jek, include local telecoms operator Safaricom, Toyota East Africa and Dutch investor DOB Equity.

Judd attributed the interest from both local and overseas investors to Sendy’s role in forging transport solutions for firms engaged in retail or fast-moving consumer goods in a region with challenges ranging from bad roads to heavy traffic.

“The problem of logistics is so large that everyone is looking at creating solutions to solve it,” she said, adding the emergence of e-commerce would further boost demand for the services of firms like Sendy.

Toyota told Reuters its use of Sendy had boosted efficiency.

“The costs of delivering spare parts from one location to another, or to a customer, has dropped by as much as 35 percent,” said Dennis Awori, the chairman of Toyota in East Africa.

Sendy, which has four founders, employs 60 people, half of them in engineering.

Judd said the most realistic exit for them would be an acquisition by another large logistics company, keen to modernize its operations.

“If we cash out in five years I will be very happy,” she said.

Editing by Maggie Fick and Mark Potter

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