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Kenyan Startup Seeks to Raise $100 Million for Africa Growth

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(Bloomberg) --

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Kenyan startup Sendy Ltd. seeks to raise $100 million by 2022 to fund the digital logistics platform’s plan to expand in western and southern Africa.

The Nairobi-based company, which facilitates door-to-door deliveries between individuals and businesses, will use the funds to commence business in the new markets, including Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana and South Africa, co-founder Malaika Judd said in an interview.

Sendy, backed by Toyota Tsusho Corp, is seeking growth and partnerships amid the continent’s push to boost trade through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The World Bank forecasts the accord will increase trade within the region by 80% to $532 billion by 2035, partly helped by improved technology-driven efficiency.

“The long-term plan is to consolidate logistics in Africa,” Judd said. “The way to turbo-charge our growth is not necessarily to do it ourselves, but to partner with the entrepreneurs in the market who want to do the same things we want to do,” she said.

Sendy has completed “a strategic equity investment” in Saviu Ventures-backed Kamtar International, which operates in Ivory Coast and Senegal with a network of at least 5,000 truck drivers, the companies said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

“We share a joint vision with Kamtar to make it easier to trade across Africa,” Sendy Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mesh Alloys said in the statement. The new investment will enable Sendy to grow in West Africa, Alloys said.

Kamtar has developed delivery operations and eliminated some intermediaries in order to reduce costs. It has helped drivers access cheaper rates on items, including gas, insurance, spare parts and finance.

“Our goal is to combine the best of both companies to become the No. 1 freight and logistics provider in the Francophone region,” Arthur Thuet, Saviu Ventures co-founder and managing partner at Kamtar, said in the statement.

(Updates with comments from companies throughout)

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