A Nigerian digital freight and hauling company, MVX, announced Thursday it has raised a $1.3 million seed round to step up its efforts to help shippers move their cargo faster.
Launched in 2019 by Tonye Membere-Otaji and Tobi Amusan, after securing a $100,000 pre-seed investment from Oui Capital, a pan-African VC firm, MVX, is a tech-driven maritime platform that matches vessel charter requests with available offshore support vessels. It has a presence in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.
In April 2021, the company launched MVXpay, a finance and payment solution to provide trade finance for freight operators.
The company said it raised money for its seed round from Africa-focused firms Kepple Africa, The Continent Venture Partners, Founders Factory, Launch Africa, and Capital Oak. Some angel investors in the U.S, Japan, Nigeria, and South Africa also participated.
The pan-African freight company has already recorded more than 300 shipments this year but plans to end with 1,500, according to Techcrunch.
“I decided to figure out how to solve that problem of finding vessels because there were too many intermediaries, which made processes difficult,” Mr Membere-Otaji was quoted by Techcrunch as saying.
“We make it easy and convenient for businesses. Instead of trying to do everything themselves, which can be chaotic and cause distraction from their core businesses, we handle everything because we have all these service providers in one platform. So as shippers work with us, MVX works with like seven to 10 other service providers,” he said.
“Our job is to empower trade in Africa, and freight is a means to that. From every step involved in that process, from providing trade and finance to warehousing to payments processing, we want to play in all that space. There aren’t a lot of companies with that trading finance element doing that like us. And also, we see a huge potential in the offline market. Right now, the reason why we have this problem is that transactions are offline. Our strategy in capturing offline markets is also key,” Mr Membere-Otaji said.
Satoshi Shinada, the general partner at Kepple Africa, said, “The trade sector in Africa is one that we believe is ripe for disruption. MVX is building a game-changing technology and platform to revolutionize how businesses in Africa move shipment and trade around the world.”