Early this month, German-based GreenTec Capital Partners announced that it had invested an undisclosed amount in Nigerian logistics startup, Parcel-IT.
But, before, Parcel-IT had secured investment from the Tony Elumelu Foundation. That is according to Gregory Ojore Asenime, the founder and CEO.
"Apart from friends, family, and savings, our first institutional investment was from the Tony Elumelu Foundation who invested $10000," Gregory wrote in an email.
Though, GreenTec's investment, like in many of its investees, isn't disclosed. This is partly because it might not be easy to quantify or many would think the startup has actually received cash in the bank. Which isn't the case when it comes to GreenTec.
According to another investee I spoke to, their investment is usually non-monetary.
Gregory said that the investment is "undisclosed but progressive and has a lot of non-monetary aspects as well." Though, it is "all equity-based." Some of the non-monetary aspects include; facilitating entry into new markets, technology transfer, raising capital as well as leveraging on Gree3nTec’s relationships and networks.
GreenTec has branded itself as an impact focused investor. I was thus interested in understanding which type of impact they foresaw in Parcel-IT.
"There was an impact opportunity not just in our current solution but more in what our future plans are," said Gregory. Who added that "GreenTec saw ways to have these improved."
"One of these impact opportunities is a means of incorporating a fintech solution, developing a risk-scoring solution to facilitate loyal customers’ transaction capacities with short-term financing, creating financial inclusion in the process and better business decision-making tools for these merchants."
Founded in 2016, Parcel-IT was inactive in the first year and actual operations only began in June last year. Currently, they have a team of four permanent employees and a couple of other freelance staff.
Although their main operations are in Lagos, Gregory maintains that they are definitely looking to expand. "We are currently in Lagos but our short to mid-term plans have us expand to other cities within Nigeria."
They are also looking at beyond the Nigerian borders. "However, strategic alliances are what got us this far and we've been building such alliances both preliminary and advanced in other African cities."
The startup is currently handling between 10-20 orders daily for small businesses. But Gregory says that is because they are not operating at full capacity. "We are on a scheduled break for tech re-engineering and upgrades, which has meant only key partners are currently being served."
GreenTec Capital Partners has stepped up its activity across the African continent. This week, they announced the opening of a West African office in Lagos. Yet, before that, they had also made many investments.
Their portfolio includes Wazi Vision (Uganda), ARED (Rwanda), FarmCrowdy (Nigeria), AgroCenta (Ghana), Bismart (Kenya) and more.