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A new frontier for Ethiopia’s logistics sector is emerging as Renew Capital, sponsored by USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), announces the inaugural LogiTech Investment Sprint Pitch Event. Intended to spotlight early-stage, pre-seed logistics technology startups in Ethiopia, the event is set to take place on May 31, 2023.

Tomorrow’s event represents the culmination of the 12-week intensive LogiTech Investment Sprint program, initiated by the USAID’s BHA through the Strengthening Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience Private Sector Engagement in Ethiopia (SHARP-SEE) project. Designed to foster the growth of tech-driven logistics startups, the program has carefully selected the top six participants to be showcased in front of potential local and international investors at the event.

The selection process was based on each startup’s growth trajectory, the alignment of their solutions with the USAID/BHA SHARP-SEE project objectives, and the quality and scalability of their offerings.

The companies spotlighted at the event will include Jemla (“Retail Made Simple”), TripWays (“Travel Made Easy”), Kamrach (“Digitizing East African Supply Chains”), Wagon (“Digitizing Daily Commuting”), Ahadu Express (“Logistics Services for E-Commerce Sellers”), and Across Express (“Digitizing East African Logistics”).

According to Renew Capital’s analysis of publicly reported deals tracked in “Africa: The Big Deal – Startup Deals Database”, logistics and transport startups received the second-highest amount of funding in Africa between 2019 and January 2023.

Out of roughly 2,406 startup deals across the continent, 11.10% were secured by logistics and transport startups, with 88% of these deals featuring a tech component. However, despite boasting the second-largest market size in Africa by population, Ethiopian logistics technology startups only raised 0.07% of the capital, states Renew.

“USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance is excited to bring more creative approaches to humanitarian problems by expanding and diversifying humanitarian stakeholders to intentionally include the private sector” said Nacasi Green, Senior Private Sector Advisor for USAID’s BHA.

“The LogiTech Investment Sprint activity is an example of embracing an innovative market-based approach that creates both opportunities for startup companies and potential solutions to the invaluable trucking and transportation industries with a goal to help enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of humanitarian activities,” she added.

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Kaleab Girma, an Addis Ababa-based reporter and researcher, with over six years of experience in the field. He currently serves as Shega's Editor-in-Chief and specializes in reporting on small businesses, innovation, technology, and startups in Ethiopia.

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