Myanmar-based startup Kargo aims to streamline logistics in South East Asia with its latest USD 800k pre-series A financing round led by Cocoon Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm in Singapore.
Founded in 2016 by CEO Alexander Wicks, Kargo manages the largest virtual truck fleet in Myanmar providing goods transportation for small and medium size and large enterprises moving cargo anywhere in the country. It is the first online transportation service in Myanmar to easily connect independent truck drivers, fleet owners, third-party logistics and commercial logistics providers directly with businesses needing reliable and trackable distribution and delivery.
Kargo was developed as a platform to digitise the ordering and matching process for inter-city, long distance logistics trucking and intra-city business to business trucking logistics. Wicks says his aim is to improve transparency, availability and accountability across the trucking industry.
The company developed a comprehensive web and mobile app as well as platform that offers end-to-end infrastructure for organising both short and long haul trucking. Wicks says truck drivers and shippers benefit from Kargo’s user-facing interface which uses a series of proprietary algorithms to make sure goods are shipped swiftly and securely from pick-up to destination.
Kargo’s primary investor, Cocoon Capital, is a Singapore-based, venture capital firm focusing on early-stage, enterprise tech companies across Southeast Asia and has assets under management of SGD 40 million. The fund invests within the medtech, fintech, insurtech and other deep tech verticals and says it differentiates itself by working closely with its portfolio companies to unleash their potential.
According to Cocoon Capital Managing Partner Michael Blakey, whom recently joined Kargo’s board of directors, Myanmar is the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia.
“We believe the Kargo platform has the potential to disrupt the trucking industry, not only in Myanmar, but in the region,” says Blakey.
Kargo received the GSM Association Ecosystem Accelerator Fund grant and won the Seedstars Yangon 2017. The startup also represented Myanmar on the world stage at the Seedstars Summit 2018, in Lausanne and was named ‘Best Logistics & Supply Chain Startup’ at the Echelon Top100 competition in Singapore in 2018.
According to Wicks, Kargo is pursuing further development of its platform and will be using the new funds to expand to markets outside Myanmar in the next 12 months.
“The Myanmar freight market is expected to grow by 300% in the coming years. With such a fragmented logistics market our platform simplifies trucking through one simple dashboard that manages shipments both across Myanmar to other markets in the region. At Kargo, we are building an experienced and passionate team committed to solving the big problems in trucking logistics. We improve the livelihoods of both truck drivers and businesses across the region, letting them enjoy the benefits of increased efficiency, quality of service and competitive prices,” says Wicks.
Kargo recently announced a partnership with Yoma Bank, Myanmar’s leading commercial bank. The company is the first client of Yoma Bank and the first business in Myanmar to join the Unsecured SME Financing Scheme. With this influx of funds, Wicks and his team aim to facilitate and implement unprecedented same-day payments to truck drivers on the Kargo platform, boosting their ability to grow their driver and user base and manage invoices.
(Feature image of Founder & CEO Alexander Wicks provided courtesy of Kargo.)