Imperial, an African and European-focused provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions, has announced an investment in and partnership with Lori Systems to expand its e-logistics technology solutions across Africa.

The Imperial Venture Fund, managed by Newtown Partners – a US venture capital firm – recently concluded an investment in Lori Systems to support its growth in East and West Africa.

The Imperial and Lori Systems partnership in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region will help develop and enhance Africa’s road freight industry through digital innovation and enablement.

“We believe that Lori solves a real problem when it comes to matching volatile demand and reliable supply in Africa’s highly fragmented road freight industry,” says Mohammed Akoojee, group CEO of Imperial. “As a business that is focused on efficient and innovative logistics and market access solutions, this is a crucial business investment for Imperial and the continent.

“Investing in Lori Systems will enable the creation of further business opportunities in Africa and provide efficiency for Imperial’s clients and transport operators with whom we collaborate.”

Lori Systems was launched in 2017 with the vision to develop technology that provides practical solutions to the challenges frontier markets face with logistics – namely the lack of visibility, coordination, and data.

Imperial will have access to Lori’s proprietary platform through this partnership, providing shippers and transporters in southern Africa with access to a flexible suite of software applications and data. This will lead to more efficiently-managed operations and fleets.

“Lori Systems’ partnership with Imperial is validation of our vision of a new era of digitally-enabled and efficient logistics not only in Africa but in frontier markets more broadly,” says Joshua Sandler, co-founder and CEO of Lori Systems. “As a leading African logistics and market access player, innovation is at the heart of Imperial, and we couldn’t be more proud to partner with an industry veteran that embraces this digital disruption while expanding Lori’s reach across Southern Africa.”

Lori Systems has successfully driven efficiency across fragmented East and West African markets by providing end-to-end visibility for customers and integrations across the entire supply chain. This partnership brings together Lori’s technology and Imperial’s expertise in logistics to drive similar efficiencies in Southern African markets.

“We believe digital freight exchanges are a compelling business model in emerging markets that complement Imperial’s traditional strength in contracted road freight,” says Llew Claasen, managing partner of Newtown Partners. “We have considered many road freight investment opportunities on the African continent and believe that the Lori Systems team, product and the opportunity that presents itself through the Imperial partnership will create a lot of value.”

The partnership between Imperial and Lori Systems will provide additional support in Lori’s established East and West African markets and facilitate Lori’s expansion across Southern African markets.