Ghana’s Jetstream has announced that it has closed a funding round of $3 million. Investors that took part in the seed round include Alitheia IDF, Golden Palm Investments, 4DX Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Asia Pacific Land, Breyer Labs, and MSA Capital.
Alithea IDF is a venture capital firm that is particularly interested in startups whose founders are diverse gender-wise. Jetstream is a tech-enabled logistics company that was founded by Miishe Addy and Solomon Torgbor.
Addy and Torgbor started the company in 2018 after observing the many challenges that companies faced at the ports with cargoes. Torgbor’s past work experience with Maersk freight forwarding company had exposed him to cargoes waiting for weeks because of errors in paperwork or other inconsistencies.
The partners launched Jetstream to act as a vertical broker between the fragmented and often-hidden segments of cross-border supply chains in Africa. It helps customers handle instant pricing, cargo tracking and customs regulation transparency in a clear manner from its dashboard.
“We are different from a more siloed freight management system because we are leveraging financing to integrate the customs brokers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, airlines, and container terminals all onto the Jetstream platform so that shipments can be managed and tracked every step of the way. We are bringing many of the local providers online for the first time,” Miishe Addy said in a statement to TechCrunch.
Users can get price quotes for their cargoes from the company’s mobile app. Its charges are calculated on a per-container or per-kilogram basis when it is offering freight services.
In the case of customs clearance, it collects a flat fee based on the tax category and location of the shipment. The only commission-based fee is for financing and insurance services and this is charged based on the value of the goods being shipped.
The startup’s vision is to make it easier for companies to conduct regional trade across Africa. Trade between Africa and the rest of the world has tripled to over $800 billion, according to the Global Maritime Forum. However, the trade within Africa only makes up a small portion of world trade. Only about 7% and 5% of world trade are being loaded and unloaded respectively in Africa, making up a very small volume of intra-continental trade.
Bringing cross-border trade corridors online will speed up the growth of commerce on the continent and ultimately lead to the growth of the African economy. Jetstream aims to be a major force in bringing Africa to this point of growth.
“We see a future where trade running on Jetstream’s digital rails has a powerful competitive edge on logistics. Jetstream is to cross-border logistics what Flutterwave is to fintech in Africa,” Miishe Addy said.
The startup hopes to have a presence at ports and borders in Africa. It already has agents in Nigeria, South Africa, Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom.
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