The co-founder and CEO of Kobo360, Obi Ozor, has been named Young Business Leader of the Year and Innovator of the Year.
Obi received the double honours at the ninth edition of the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA), which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Organised in partnership with CNBCAfrica, AABLA is dubbed Africa's largest business award. It is an empowerment driven initiative aimed at distinguishing and upholding the achievements of inspiring corporate front-runners on the continent.
The President of African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, was awarded the African of the Year award in recognition of his innovation with the African Investment Forum, which billion-dollar investments into the continent.
Speaking on the double wins, Obi Ozor said: "I am extremely honoured to be the recipient of the ‘Young Business Leader’ and ‘Innovator of the Year’ awards."
As the CEO of Kobo360, Obi manages all the key aspects operations, investments, compliance risk management and product growth. Before co-founding the foremost Nigerian e-logistics and freight startup with Ife Oyedele II in September 2016, Obi was the Operations Coordinator at Uber Nigeria. Prior to that, he served as the president and CEO of Bezmo Global—an Africa-focused investment firm—and worked with J.P. Morgan as an investment banker.
Kobo360 was launched to disrupt Africa’s logistics sector valued at $150 billion (₦54.3 trillion) with technology. Within three years of operations, Kobo360 has become a pan-African brand and secured $37.3 million (₦13.5 billion) investment from global institutional venture capital firms.
Our story is one which young business leaders can resonate with. The story of turning African problems into African opportunities to benefit the entire continent and its people. In the logistics sector, our focus has not been exclusive to one group of people. Kobo360 is for our drivers, it is for SMEs and it’s also for major businesses who need to move goods. These are groups who have all felt the pain points of the current fragmented logistics sector and we are continuously committed to innovating around their needs."
Current investors in Kobo360 include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Y Combinator, TLcom and Goldman Sachs. Nigerian commercial banks also provided it with $10 million working capital financing during its Series A round in August.
Winning this award would not have been possible without the inspiration I have received from my family, my co-founder, Ife Oyedele, the Kobo360 team located across Africa and of course our investors, for whom I have the deepest respect for. We will only get better at what we do and remain committed to building a world-class organisation that will drive efficiency, reliability and affordability across the global supply chain ecosystem, Obi said.
To date, the freight company has moved 500 million kilograms of goods—that's a combined mass of over 55,000 ships. Over 17,000 drivers and trucks are available on the Kobo360 platform, servicing over 700 clienteles, which include large enterprises such as Dangote Group, DHL, Unilever, OLAM, African Industries, Flour Mills of Nigeria and Lafarge.
Kobo360’s tech-enabled full truckload offering enables the development of an efficient supply chain for end-to-end long-haul freight operations. It also connects and supports cargo owners, truck owners and drivers, as well as cargo recipients at scale.
With operations in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya, the Kobo260 is building a Global Logistics Operating System (GLOS) that will power trade and commerce across Africa and emerging markets.