OnePort 365, a digital freight forwarding firm that makes it easier to transport cargo to, from, and within Africa, has raised $5 million in seed capital to assist its expansion into new markets throughout the continent and push end-to-end digitisation of freight management in Africa.
Mobility 54 (the Venture Capital branch of Toyota Tsusho and CFAO Group) led the seed fundraising round, which included SBI Investment, Flexport, ODX, a Singaporean syndicate fund, and other strategic angel investors. After participating in the previous round, Samurai Incubate re-invested.
OnePort 365 is developing an operating system for cross-border trade in Africa, with active operations in Nigeria and Ghana and ongoing explorations in other markets.
The company is assisting traders in managing their freight processes through a digital platform that enables seamless freight forwarding and other value-added services. With this fresh capital, OnePort 365 will be able to improve efficiency and minimize overheads in cross-border trading across the continent, as well as provide a variety of new services that will boost overall profitability.
Africa is becoming increasingly important in global marine trade, accounting for 12% of the 811 million containers moved by ports globally. The clearing and forwarding business in Africa is also expanding, with recent data estimating a market size of $4.2 billion and a predicted 12.5 percent growth with additional services. However, a slew of issues, including port congestion, trouble finding reliable service providers, and complicated payment systems, have resulted in higher costs, inefficiencies, and a slew of missed opportunities for traders.
Traders no longer have to wait up to two weeks to compare the best rates from various service providers thanks to OnePort 365. They can explore comparative offers on the platform and book freights in 30 seconds or less using pre-negotiated rates. Traders can also interact with shipping and inland transportation vendors on one platform and handle the complete process (from booking to payment).
Traders have GPS-enabled, real-time sight of their shipments, as well as access to all related documentation via the platform, which eliminates the time-consuming procedure of physically retrieving these documents from offices or shipping line centers. To support fast payments, the platform also makes use of developments in payment technology and the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS).
Air freight, ocean freight, inland haulage (trucking, barge, and rail), Pay-As-You-Go warehousing, marine insurance, customs brokerage, and more are all covered by the platform. Since its inception in 2019, OnePort 365 has expanded its revenue by more than 420 percent and increased the number of twenty-foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs) by 140 percent.
In response to the new investment, “We are incredibly excited to have these investors aboard to support our aim to maximize cross-border commerce across the continent,” stated Hio Sola-Usidame, CEO and creator of OnePort 365.
We want to make it easier for businesses to take advantage of new legislation like the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, which has the potential to usher in a new era of trade on the continent. We believe that managing freight should be as simple as booking a trip or ordering a ride-hailing service, and we’re working to make that a reality.”
“We are happy to help Hio and the OnePort 365 team as they embark on the road of digitizing the end-to-end freight management process in Africa,” stated Takeshi Watanabe, CEO of Mobility 54 Investment SAS. By tackling the long-standing obstacles that have made it difficult to move freight into and around the continent, OnePort 365 has the potential to open huge commercial opportunities across the continent, and we are sure that it will succeed.”
“Since the first day we joined the company as an investor in 2020, we’ve thought that this team is the one that can establish a cross-border trading platform designed for the African continent,” said Rena Yoneyama, Managing Partner at Samurai Incubate Africa. We’re thrilled to be supporting OnePort 365 once more.”