The market for cross-border logistics services is expected to reach $32 billion by 2025, and competition in the industry is heating up. Ghanaian e-logistics startup Jetstream Africa has just secured a pre-Series A round of $13 million in equity and debt financing – positioning them as a top contender.
Jetstream, a Tema-based cross-border logistics platform, has announced an $3M seed round (including $1M in debt) to expand into new countries. Currently operating in 29 countries across Africa, Jetstream’s technology platform vertically aggregates fragmented vendors for African trade and finance.
Jetstream Africa initially had two business lines: logistics services and financing for freight forwarders. Recently, they’ve bundled these offerings to serve cargo owners exclusively. CEO Miishe Addy reports that this shift has enabled the startup to achieve product-market fit.
“We observed that the import-export business controls the supply chain,” she stated. “Cargo owners and freight forwarders have information asymmetry, yet importers and exporters can push for digitization of the supply chain. To simplify our business, we combined trade financing with logistics to create a direct import-export product line.”
Jetstream’s freight forwarding model enables cargo owners to access financing without having to go through banks. Jetstream charges a fee, and supplies finance for import/export transactions; eliminating the need for letters of credit. For example, Ghanaian importers no longer need their counterparty’s bank in China vouching for them – Jetstream can facilitate the transaction directly by supplying cedi and receiving yuan on behalf of both parties.
Jetstream provides cargo owners with fast access to working capital, backed by the shipment itself. To do this, the three-year-old startup takes a security interest in the cargo and underwrites loans (repayable within 15-90 days) through its banking partners. Funds are then disbursed to vendors throughout the supply chain, eliminating time consuming processes and reducing reliance on inefficient letter of credit systems that require collateral for loans.
When importing 10 containers, importers must pay for the goods plus nine different vendors: a shipping line, customs broker on both sides of the border, truck drivers on each side and possibly a warehouse operator or container terminal. This is according to Addy who co-founded Jetstream with COO Solomon Torgbor in 2018.
Apply for a Jetstream loan and get the funds you need to cover the full shipment, paying all nine vendors directly — not just $50,000.
recently gave an interview in which he discussed the important role that technology plays in Africa’s economy.
Miishe Addy, CEO of Jetstream Africa, recently highlighted the vital role of technology in fueling African economic growth during a recent interview.
Jetstream has grown its trade finance product from $1M to $9M in loans disbursed, aiming for a fivefold increase by year-end. After switching their business model, Jetstream saw up to 50 loans/month and became EBITDA positive with 48% revenue growth and 102% active customer growth over the past year; shipments consist of 47% air freight, 44% ocean freight & 9% ground transport.
Jetstream, a 44-person team facing competition from Sote, SEND, One35 Port and MVX among others, has secured essential partnerships for its next growth phase. These include multinational banks like Societe Generale as well as startups such as Lami and MFS Africa. Tokunboh Ishmael of Alitheia IDF (a Jetstream investor) sees the round of funding – which supports expansion to new markets – taking advantage of trade policies like AfCFTA to boost inter-continental trade and promote inclusive economic development in Africa.