Kenyan-based fulfillment and logistics startup Sendy has announced that it has received undisclosed funding from MOL PLUS, the venture capital arm of Japanese transport company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL).
The funding, which appears to be a bail-out fund, is expected to keep things steady at Sendy as the logistics startup figures out its next act. The funding negotiations with MOL PLUS appear to have coincided with Sendy’s aggressive cost-cutting over the last three months.
Between August and October, the company laid off 84 employees, about 28% of its 300-strong workforce, in two phases. In September, the company shut down the last of its B2C offerings, becoming a fully B2B company, and then shut down one of its core products, Sendy Supply, in October. CEO and co-founder Mesh Alloys had earlier attributed the layoffs to the “current realities impacting tech companies globally.”
Founded in 2015 by Alloys, Evanson Biwott, Don Okoth and Malaika Judd, Sendy offers eCommerce, enterprise and freight delivery services for a client list that includes Unilever, DHL, Maersk, Safaricom and African online retailer Jumia. The startup had over 5,000 vehicles on its platform that move different goods as of 2020.
“We believe our financial and operational partnership with MOL PLUS and MOL Logistics will drive a huge impact not only for the growth of Sendy and its fulfillment network but also for the Merchants we serve as we continue to offer more value add and solutions to help them grow and trade more,” Mesh Alloys said.
MOL PLUS joins existing Sendy investors such as Atlantica Ventures and Toyota Tsusho Corporation to help scale fulfillment services in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Cote d’Ivoire.