Jetstream, a technology-enabled supply chain venture based in Ghana, has raised $13 million in equity and debt pre-Series A financing.
This comes around 18 months after it bagged $3 million in a seed round from Alitheia IDF, Golden Palm Investments, 4DX Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Asia Pacific Land, Breyer Labs and MSA Capital.
The fresh funding came from fintech lender and private investment firm Cauris. French development institution Proparco provided debt financing. Octerra, Wuri Ventures, Seed9, The MBA Fund and ASCVC also invested.
Existing investors Alitheia IDF and Golden Palm chipped in, too.
The startup was founded around five years ago by Miishe Addy and Solomon Torgbor. It has positioned itself as a data-driven vertical broker for cross-border trade in Africa. Its platform is backed by a fulfilment network of third-party customs brokers, freight forwarders, terminal operators, and other logistics providers in each trade corridor.
Addy, who is the company’s CEO, started her career as a consultant with Bain. She has also worked with Wachtell, Lipton, and Rosen & Katz. She had previously started SkillTapp, a platform that connected independent marketing consultants with startups in the US, before floating Jetstream.
Torgbor, who is Jetstream’s COO, joined Addy in 2019. He had previously spent around eight years with logistics giant AP Moller-Maersk in Ghana.
Jetstream is one amongst a clutch of logistics-tech startups to get funding in Africa over the recent past. Many of these are from Egypt, as per data collated by The Capital Quest. Other ventures are located in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa. These include Trella, Eshi Express, Bosta, Flexstock, Quench, Amitruck, Tayary and Kibanda Topup.
Tema-based Jetstream says this new investment will allow it to expand into new countries adding to the 29 nations it is present currently, of which close to half are in the African continent. Previously, it was into logistics services to cargo owners dealing with import and export besides financing freight forwarders. Now it has shifted to become a freight forwarder.
Aruwa Capital Management, an early-stage growth equity and gender lens fund investing in Nigeria and Ghana, has made a follow-on investment into AgroEknor International, a hibiscus flower exporter and wellness brand.
AgroEknor, founded in 2013, processes and exports dried hibiscus flowers, seen as a superfood and wellness product. All flowers are sourced locally in Nigeria, processed in house, and exported to international clients in the food and beverage industry, where they are typically used as flavouring in healthy teas and other drinks, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, where they are used in immunity boosting and high blood pressure medicines.
The original money was used to accelerate AgroEknor’s growth by procuring products and exporting huge volumes of hibiscus flowers to meet the demands of clients in Asia, Europe and North America. The company has since then launched its Farmers Education and Empowerment Project (FEEP), which aims to help farmers in northern Nigeria upgrade their farming practices and increase their farming yields, while serving as a sustainable source for the company’s product.
AgroEknor has also commenced the construction of a fumigation chamber, integrated the use technology into its product sourcing mechanism, obtained certifications for global food, safety and hygiene. Furthermore, the company has acquired a new warehouse which is able to accommodate up to 1,200 tons of product, to meet rapidly increasing demand and also set in motion its product diversification strategies with a medium-term goal to achieve backward integration of complimentary superfood products.
Aruwa’s fresh investment will be used to support the completion of the fumigation chambers, procure inventory to meet the soaring order book from clients across the world of more than 8,000 tons, as well as product expansion and diversification, which will deepen its product offering and reach, to more international clients.
Ethiopian talent marketplace Gebeya has secured an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A investment from Japanese VC firm Inclusion Japan (ICJ), which had previously backed another Ethiopian startup, Dodai.to.
Co-founded and led by Amadou Daffe, Addis Ababa-based Gebeya also has offices in Kenya and Senegal. It had previously raised over $3 million from names like Consonance Investment Managers, Partech and Orange Ventures.