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At a Glance
In a seed round, Jetstream, an African supply chain network, received $3M. Jetstream was founded by Miishe Addy and Solomon Torgbor to monitor and regulate their own cross-border supply chains. Jetstream’s business model is straightforward. It charges for all of its services, including freight, clearing, and banking. Customs clearance is charged at a set rate that changes depending on the tax type and location of the shipment.
Jetstream, a Ghanian supply chain platform for African suppliers, has raised $3M in a seed funding round. Participants in the round include Alitheia IDF, Golden Palm Investments, 4DX Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Asia Pacific Land, Breyer Labs, and MSA Capital.
The business concept of Jetstream is simple. The freight, clearing, and banking services it provides are all charged for. It charges a per-container or per-kilogram cost for shipment. It charges a fixed price for customs clearance, which varies based on the tax type and location of the cargo. It also charges a fee on the value of the items being sent for financing and insurance services.
Miishe Addy and Solomon Torgbor started the company in 2018. Jetstream was founded by African entrepreneurs who wanted to be able to observe and control their own cross-border supply chains. It gathers and connects private sector logistics companies at African ports and borders.
The founders’ initial insight was around fragmentation issues and a lack of coordination at African ports, something Torgbor was all too familiar with. He had spent eight years with Maersk’s freight forwarding subsidiary Damco. He observed goods languishing at container terminals for weeks, unable to move ahead in the supply chain.
The delays were due to errors and incorrect paperwork at customs, importers, and exporters not having working capital at the right time to pay their logistics bills and poor coordination on the ground. For exports, the cargo volumes were sometimes too small to ship cost-effectively by sea freight.
When Mr. Torgbor told Ms. Addy about the problems he’d seen at Damco, she instantly agreed that they were worth solving.
“As he was talking, a light bulb went off, and I thought. ‘These are exactly the types of problems that technology solves. We discussed and tried lots of different solutions for about a year and discovered that cargo aggregation generated strong traction almost immediately.”Ms. Addy, the CEO
Jetstream launched a Less Than Container Load (LCL) aggregation service in Ghana in March 2019. Agricultural exporters might use the service to combine their goods into pooled sea freight containers. Jetstream then introduced trade finance in November of that year for customers who were having trouble filling large purchase orders.
Ms. Addy hopes that more African female-led teams will be well-funded in the future, and she wishes Jetstream to start that trend. “I especially hope that our business growth encourages the investor side of the tech ecosystem to take a second look at all of the women leaders who aren’t being adequately funded,” she said.
Jetstream also operates in Nigeria, with agents in South Africa, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. This talent placement is one of Jetstream’s plans for 2028, when the firm aims to have a presence at ports and borders across Africa, accounting for 80% of the continent’s total global commerce.according to Ms. Addy