Lori Systems, the winner of last year’s Startup Battlefield Africa in Kenya, is set to launch in Uganda. Going by this medium post from Bill McNeely, the Kenyan tech-driven truck coordination startup that launched in May 2017 is about to launch its operations in Uganda.
In the post, Bill says that he “started at Lori this week [of January 18th, 2018]”. But “currently in Mambosa, Kenya getting up to speed on standard operating procedures”.
Although Josh Sandler pointed out that Lori was operating in Kenya and Uganda at his Startup Battlefield Pitch, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Because, in the same post, Bill added that he is “starting off as an Operations Manager and will be helping to launch Lori in Uganda in the coming months”.
On his LinkedIn profile, and through the conversation we had [today on 25/01/2018] with him at the Innovation Village in Kampala, Bill indicated that he started working as the Operations Manager in January 2018.
Lori, upon launching in Uganda, is likely to set up shop at The Innovation Bureau – which is the wing of The Innovation Village that accommodates regional and local companies. Some of the companies there include Andela, Vouch Digital, Xente, Kola Studios, Sellio etc. (See also: The Innovation Bureau: Is it the “Silicon Valley” Ugandan Entrepreneurs have been Waiting for?)
When it comes to setting up, it seems the company is likely to do so earlier than what Bill’s article says. Considering that the company’s CEO and Founder, South African born Josh Sandler, is in Uganda too.
Lori systems provides a payments and tracking platform for logistics companies. With a web- and mobile-based system, the startup offers freight management that coordinates truckers and shippers “to reduce inefficiencies and margin capture”.
To break it down, as it is currently if one is to move goods from Mombasa or Juba to Kampala, that truck or container comes loaded and goes back empty. In certain cases, it also comes not loaded to full capacity. So, what Lori is doing is to bridge that inefficiency gap.
Currently, there’s no company offering a centralized platform in Uganda to close the gap. Which makes perfect sense for Lori to launch. However, in Lagos, Ligare with a slightly similar product launched last year.
In Uganda, if Lori is able to bring Multiple, Aponye, Seroma and other logistics and courier companies on board, then it can eventually lead to reduced costs of running a logistics business. Because having loaded trucks for both to and fro trips ensures a split cost. This, in turn, can probably result in increased volumes.