Chartering and shipping ocean freight in Africa can be difficult. This sector is inefficient and scattered. It is also difficult for merchants to obtain finance in order to transborder trade across the continent. __S.4__ Today, the company announces its seed round of $1.3 million to help it boost its efforts.
Tonye Membere Otaji was the one who came up with the idea of MVX. Membere-Otaji, who has worked as a maritime professional (both in his family’s business and building websites for businesses), was fascinated by the lack of an online marketplace for vessel sales. __S.8__
TechCrunch’s he said that he decided to find a solution to the problem of finding vessels, because there were so many intermediaries making it difficult. __S.10__ __S.11__
At first, the company was known as MVXchange. The company’s core business was to provide a platform for support vessel booking that would match vessel charter requests from operators with Offshore Support Vessels available (OSVs) __S.14__
However, in March 2020 the company did a pivotal change and reworked its business model. __S.16__ __S.17__
We don’t think we could charter vessels for long-term because of the declining demand for fossil fuels. __S.19__
The launch of MVXtransit was next, a platform that allows cargo owners to book freight online and find the best deals for moving containers in Nigeria. __S.21__ But, the two offerings have been combined into MVX.
MVX’s CEO stated that the company wants to simplify freight shipping and trade financing for African companies by making it easier to book and deploy cargo online. It claims its startup can be used by merchants in West Africa as well as Kenya and South Africa to transport freight into and out of those countries.
MVX will charge a commission to provide services such as trucking and warehousing.
We make it simple and easy for businesses. We handle all the work for you because we offer all of these services in one place. MVX collaborates with shippers, and MVX also works with seven to ten other service providers,” stated Membere-Otaji.
By 2025, the market for services in cross-border logistics is expected to reach $32 billion. __S.30__ This has been true, and it is becoming more apparent to investors. __S.32__ SEND is another example; YC backs the startup. __S.34__
However, what stands out for MVX, according to Membere-Otaji, is that the company also sees itself as a trade finance company.
This concept combines the best of trade and fintech. It works by merchants moving shipments from Africa into the U.S. and China. However, not all have the capital necessary to purchase freight. They can request credit with MVX. __S.39__ Next, MVX handles the shipment and ships it overseas. __S.41__
Our job is to enable trade in Africa. Freight is one way to do that. We want to be involved at every stage of that process from trade finance and warehousing, to payment processing, to providing trade financing, to financial services, to shipping, to logistics, to freight. We are the only company that has that trade finance component. We also see huge opportunities in the offline marketplace. This is because transactions take place offline. Also, our strategy to capture offline markets is key .”
Pan-African freight firm has recorded over 300 shipment this year, but the CEO plans to increase that number to 1,500. The CEO says the company is now ahead of its 2020 targets in terms both revenue and traction.
MVX received seed funding from Africa-focused companies Kepple Africa and The Continent Venture Partners. Founders Factory, Launch Africa, Capital Oak, and The Continent Venture Partners funded the round. Notable angel investors from the U.S. and South Africa were also present. __S.52__ __S.53__
Satoshi Shinada (general partner, Kepple Africa) stated that the trade sector in Africa was one we think is ready for disruption. MVX has created a revolutionary platform and technology that will revolutionize the way African businesses move goods and services around the globe.
Publiated at Thu, Aug 5, 2021 8:38:40 +0000