Sote, an African supply chain-focused company, launched the continent’s first licensed tech-enabled customs clearing and forwarding service back in 2020. Now the company aims to merge its end-to-end logistics freight forwarding service to a full-service Working Capital loan solution for Africa’s end-to-end supply chain.
The company has raised a $4 million seed extension round, bringing its total raised to date to $8.4 million.
The round was led by Social Capital, Chamath Palihapitiya’s fund, with Ray Ko, the growth partner
joining Sote’s board.
The round was closed by a small group of investors including Venture capitalist Justin Saslow; Harry Hurst,
Founder/CEO at Pipe; MaC Venture Capital doubling down; and K50 ventures.
To achieve its massive goals, Sote has onboarded industry leaders.
Samora Kariuki joins Sote as Director of Fintech. He is the author of one of Africa’s most renowned
Fintech newsletters – Frontier. Formerly, Samora held the position of Deputy MD at Finbank, and was
previously stationed at Dillux.
John Bish joins Sote as CFO and M&A lead. Formerly, John practiced finance as a CFO of Williams Lea
Group and more recently CFO at MallForAfrica. He was also formerly Finance Director at DHL and
Wincanton Logistics, having overseen some M&A activities there.
“Sote has always been about the people. A group of passionate individuals driven to build the future of
Africa. We’re excited about bringing Samora and John under one roof with our Logistics and Engineering
teams to create uniquely compelling solutions for our customers and the value chain beyond them”, said
Felix Orwa, the Kenyan-born Founder and CEO of Sote.
“If the supply chain is composed of the flow of product, the flow of information, and the flow of cash,
then Sote already controls the first two. With the launch of our Fintech solution, we will have control and
positive influence on all three. This creates a powerful flywheel effect with our customers as they find
more holistic and convenient bundled services between logistics and capital solutions”
The company grew its customer base 370%, and revenue growth by 200% in the past year, with 50
customers as of Dec 2021. Having recently secured their Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)
certification, Sote aims to target larger customers in 2022 and exceed growth targets.
Currently, Sote, which was founded in 2018 and charges around $1,500 per container handled, provides a
a real-time dashboard that allows manufacturers, retailers, and distributors visibility about shipment status,
saving time and money.
About Sote: Sote is building the digital logistics infrastructure and the largest B2B marketplace in Africa.
Our mission is to make trade affordable and easy and help grow the GDP of the continent. We are a fully
licensed customs agent and Authorized Economic Operator. We aim to provide a combination of finance
underwriting models, software-driven supply chain services, and SaaS solutions across the continent.
We are the first to market with a licensed digital customs clearing and forwarding solution, introducing
visibility and transparency to industrial importers and exporters in Africa. “Sote” is Swahili for “all of
us”. For more information, visit www.sote.com
About Social Capital: At Social Capital, our mission is to advance humanity by solving the world’s
hardest problems. We believe that empowering entrepreneurs who seek to improve the lives of the people
around them is the best way to create more opportunities globally. At its core, Social Capital is an
organization that identifies hard problems and assembles experts, IP, and experiments that allow us to
learn about these problems deeply. Once we have conviction about a solution, we will then execute — by
building, buying, or investing in whatever it takes to solve the problem we identified.