Logistics firm Speedaf Express in strong position now to finance its China-Africa brand
Leading China-Africa integrated logistics service provider, Speedaf Express, has announced the completion of first round of financing of China-Africa brand. This round of financing was led by Trustbridge, followed by Northern Light Venture Capital and Vision+Capital.
The tens of millions of dollars raised in this round will be used for logistics network expansion in emerging markets, IT system construction and talent team structuring, to build a leading brand for China-Africa logistics.
Speedaf Express was founded in 2019, with ZTO Express as one of the original shareholders. Speedaf Express focuses on crossborder door-to-door logistics services between China and emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, and provides domestic express services, LTL, warehouse and other value-added services covering the whole region.
Relying on a self-built service network and information systems, Speedaf Express creates one-stop, full tracking and door-to-door integrated logistics service solutions. The crossborder air and shipping services provided by Speedaf Express cover more than 50 countries.
With its localised operations, Speedaf Express has launched local express and LTL networks in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco.
Meanwhile, it has also established distribution centres, stations and warehouses to ensure effective nationwide coverage in those countries.
In the future, Speedaf Express will further expand its express and LTL network in Africa and other emerging markets and will continue to improve the construction and operation of distribution centres, stations, vehicles and line-haul transportation, develop diversified value-added services, and strengthen information management systems.
“We sincerely thank our new and original shareholders for their trust and support for Speedaf Express. This is an important milestone in the development of Speedaf Express,” said Speedaf Express CEO Gary Suo.
“We are very optimistic about the development prospects of China-Africa crossborder logistics and local logistics business in Africa and are committed to bringing advanced management concepts and operation models from China’s express industry to Africa.
Combined with understanding of local markets and talents, Speedaf Express says it has set out a business model tailored for African nations that will quickly build up a local operations network with guaranteed service quality.
According to the CEO, “In the era of e-commerce, a logistics network capable of covering thousands of households is a necessity. Speedaf Express has built up an end-to-end ecology through ‘self-operated + franchised stations’ to better and more flexibly serve a majority of e-commerce platforms and sellers. Improved service quality and network depth will help more enterprises develop in emerging markets.”
Regarding the investment in Speedaf Express, Wang Zhaoqian, vice president of northern light Venture Capital, said observed, “Our investment philosophy in the logistics industry is to find new logistics opportunities being generated by new business, and invest in a market with inadequate logistics.
Therefore, after initial communication with the Speedaf Express team, we swiftly made the decision to invest. We believe Speedaf Express will become a logistics giant between China and Africa by building up local service networks in Africa, and further improving air transportation networks.”
Liu Yiran, Partner of Vision+Capital, said, “Vision+Capital led Round A financing for Speedaf Express in late 2020 and continues to invest in this round. Speedaf Express has achieved rapid growth of both crossborder and local logistics business in just over a year. The rapid financing in a short period of time is the capital market’s recognition and affirmation of the team and the huge potential of the crossborder logistics market.”
Yiran added, “We expect China’s supply chain to play a greater role in post-pandemic cross-border trade, while local logistics infrastructure in Africa will provide greater value along with the internetisation and booming e-commerce market in Africa.”
The African logistics market has shown rapid growth in recent years thanks to accelerated urbanization, the development of new distribution channels such as e-commerce, and the growth of a FMCG retail sector.
Data show that the sub-Saharan Africa e-commerce market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 22 per cent. With the increased investment of global capital and e-commerce players, the African e-commerce market is expected to enter a period of rapid growth, resulting in greater logistics demand.
“In particular,” according to Yiran, “the official launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area on New Year’s Day 2021 will improve the overall convenience and pace of goods’ circulation in Africa, encourage more African countries to integrate into the regional and global value chains, and add new impetus and vitality to Africa’s socio-economic development.”
As China-Africa economic and trade cooperation deepens, globalisation and technological development will create more opportunities for the development of Africa’s logistics industry.
“Through continuous investment in technology and symbiotic development with partners, Speedaf Express will further consolidate its leading position of China-Africa express delivery while building a last-mile logistics network covering ‘China-Africa’”, Yiran pointed out.
- A Tell report