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Senegal’s logistics tech startup Chargel raises $2.5M seed funding

After selling their hospitality tech startup, Teranga, in 2018, Senegalese brothers Moustapha and Alioune Ndoye ventured into the trucking business as they pondered their next move. However, it soon became clear to them that fleet management is a major challenge, and one that largely influences the level of profits to be made by truck owners.

Some market research made them aware of the full extent of inefficiencies in the trucking business, which especially limited the earnings of owner-operators. And that is how their logistics tech startup, Chargel, was born.

“We realized that there were so many inefficiencies, and that the logistics sector in Senegal was so fragmented, but we felt that technology could help. So, we decided to be drivers for a few months to understand how the sector works, its real challenges and where the opportunity was, before building something,” Moustapha told TechCrunch.

Chargel, which came out of stealth last year, matches shippers with transporters, digitizing processes that were previously largely offline. The startup is rapidly taking off, and now counts some of the world’s largest shipping companies, Maersk and Grimaldi, among its earliest clients.

In its next phase of growth, it is opening up its platform to more clients, as it had limited access to 10 companies. Its exploration of new growth avenues is backed by a $2.5 million seed round led by Logos Ventures. Ventures Platform, Foundation Botnar, DFS Labs and Seedstars also participated in the round, which also included $500,000 debt. The funding also includes $750,000 it announced last year.

“This year we are opening up the platform to more shippers in Senegal. We are also looking at expansion to one other Francophone African country,” said Moustapha, who briefly worked as a senior product manager in charge of business solutions at Senegalese unicorn Wave.

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