Google has announced its latest investment in Lori Systems, a Nairobi-based e-logistics company providing shippers with digital solutions to manage cargo and transporters.
The company is yet to disclose the actual size of the stake, but this marks Google’s third investment from its $50 Million Africa Investment Fund announced in October 2021.
This fund is part of Google’s bigger plan to invest $1 billion in tech-led initiatives over the next five years.
“We’re excited to see where the future takes a business like this,” said Nitin Gajria, Google’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Google understands 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.”
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According to Google, the cost of moving goods in Africa is one of the highest in the world, as on average 75 per cent of product costs goes to logistics – compared to just 6 per cent in the US.
“In recent years the global logistics industry has seen much innovation. However global supply chains are in dire need of modernisation, with technologies yet to reach critical scale,” said Jean-Claude Homawoo, Lori Systems Co-founder and CPO.
“On the continent, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to lead to an 81 per cent increase in intra-African trade, providing a $21.9 billion opportunity in untapped trade potential that the 54 ratifying countries are hoping to capitalise on over the next 5 years. Logistics is key to unlocking this opportunity.”
In April, Google Cloud partnered with Ocean Network Express (ONE) to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) across the carrier’s business.
ONE said it will establish an AI Center of Excellence (CoE) by leveraging Google Cloud’s leading data analytics, machine learning (ML) and AI technologies, alongside advisory expertise from Deloitte Consulting Southeast Asia (Deloitte).