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Kenyan logistics marketplace Bwala Africa looking to raise up to $8m in Series-A round

Featured image: Bwala Africa Group founder and CEO Kennedy Nyabwala (Supplied)

Nairobi-based last mile logistics startup Bwala Africa has secured a deal with an undisclosed European tech firm to develop a new tech platform for the startup in a deal valued at $800 000.

The deal, which was concluded last week, comes as Bwala Africa opens its Series-A round to investors. The startup aims to raise between $5-million and $8-million and is in talks with various venture capital and private equity firms.

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The Series-A round, Bwala founder and CEO Kennedy Nyabwala (pictured above) told Venturburn in a phone call today, will be used to finance the expansion of its operations to Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania as well as to hire more staff.

Bwala was founded in 2017 by Kennedy Nyabwala

Bwala Africa said in an earlier statement that the investor in its latest deal will assist in the development and deployment of tech platforms like shipping apps which it said will enable it to scale its apps capacity.

The startup, which was founded in 2017, explained that the in-house app it uses for last mile operation has been limiting its ability so scale operations.

“We have made over 100 000 last mile order fulfilments and with our new apps, which should go live by January 2020, we will be able to reach areas and regions without necessary having a brick and mortar office.

“This means once published, you can be a Bwala shipping agent by collecting orders for fulfilment or being a full time delivery agent who gets orders on a daily basis for last mile deliveries,” explained Nyabwala.

Aim now on 6000 to 8000 drops a day

Bwala claims it currently completes between 700 and 850 shipments a day with clients that range form e-commerce firms, manufacturers and retailers.

Nyabwala said this latest investment will enable the startup to sustain over 10 000 transactions at any given time without having any challenges or downtime.

“The tech investment will definitely have an impact on our commercial growth and this automatically also doubles our market valuation, so it comes at the right time and we are very privileged to work with our partners,” he added.

Nyabwala said Bwala now aims to make between 6000 and 8000 drops a day and to have over 2000 registered agents in Kenya who will assist with the placement of orders and recruitment of new last mile partners.

Bwala was accepted into Bosch and Founders Factory smart mobility accelerator programme which starts in Johannesburg on 5 November.

Earlier this year, Bwala raised an undisclosed amount in an equity investment deal with Silicon Valley angel investor Justin Caldbeck which saw him join the startup as a board member (see this story).

Prior to Caldbeck’s investment, Nyabwala said at the time the startup had raised $250 000 in funding. Last September, Bwala Africa Group secured a loan of 24-million Kenyan Shillings ($238 000) from Kenyan bank CFC Stanbic.

Read more: Kenya’s Bwala Africa now seeking $5m after deal with Uber investor – founder
Read moreKenyan logistics startup Bwala Africa Group secures over $200k in funding

Featured image: Bwala Africa Group founder and CEO Kennedy Nyabwala (Supplied)

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