Kenyan startup Leta has raised $3 million as it seeks to scale its operations across West Africa in 2023.
Leta is a B2B supply chain and logistics SaaS provider launched in 2021 to optimize fleet management and is looking for growth opportunities in West Africa while expanding operations in its existing five markets; Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The startup looks to tap some of the biggest distributors and e-commerce players in Ghana, and later Nigeria in its expansion phase next year.
The 4Di Capital, Cellulant co-founder Ken Njoroge, Google executive Charles Murito, Chandaria Capital, Chui Ventures, PANI, Samurai Incubate, and Verdant Frontiers Fintech participated in the round.
“Our next year is going to be fairly big for us. Our product has stabilized and we have a very good understanding of our sales process and our go-to-market strategy. The capital we have raised will help us to quickly scale into new markets beginning with Ghana, where we will launch in December,” Leta founder and CEO, Nick Joshi told TechCrunch, adding that it is working on a transport marketplace, and fintech products too.
“We are an operating system for logistics, and our software is able to show distributors the most efficient route to serve the customers quicker, and enables them to use less assets (vehicles) to serve more customers”Nick Joshi, CEO Leta
“It also makes it possible to track the driver, the specific goods carried, the loading of the truck to know if space use is maximized, the time spent during the journey, and distance traveled,” Leta’s CEO added.
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Leta’s expansion plan
Leta claims it has optimized over 500,000 deliveries, delivered more than 20,000 tons of goods, and managed 2,000 vehicles since inception.
The company has worked with over 20 major businesses including B2B e-commerce distribution platform Twiga, ShopZetu, a fashion marketplace, pan-African fast-food giant Simbisa Brands, and fast-moving consumer goods conglomerate Chandaria Industries, whose family office invested in its latest round,
“As a leading FMCG player in the region, we are continuously focused on optimizing our business to best service the growing demand. Leta has played a pivotal role in helping us streamline our last mile distribution, and we’re seeing meaningful savings on our logistics costs in addition to an improved service delivery time,” said Darshan Chandaria, CEO of Chandaria Capital.
“After working closely with the Leta team, we were impressed with the team, the technology they are building, and the scale of the problem they are solving, which prompted our investment from Chandaria Capital,” Chandaria concluded.
According to the startup’s CEO, Leta has a first-mover advantage in the region and will continue to build and refine its technology IP, and products, to provide solutions to the problems he identifies in the market.
As the company seeks to launch a transport marketplace, it will enable Leta’s clients to request additional delivery vehicles, when their fleets are not sufficient.
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“Through our software, there will be a way that they can then request more vehicles, and we will be able to quickly connect them to additional providers.”
“Our platform also tracks things like utilization and we can match them (distributors) with the best of the available suppliers. Why this is interesting is, instead of doing similar to what other marketplaces do today, which is renting a truck to a customer for one service. A truck could do multiple loads because we have the load utilization ability.”
The startup is also in talks with financial providers to offer asset financing to help clients expand their fleets.
“We want to do it in a very structured way and our technology is a great foundational layer to enable us to build other products.”
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