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Kamtar : An innovative solution to logistics challenges in the Ivory Coast

Solution to logistics challenges

Co-founders Arthur Thuet and Délas N’Dri came up with the innovative idea to kickstart Kamtar after encountering difficulties moving.  Launched in January 2018, the startup is a digital platform to connect carriers and business or private customers in West Africa. The project has been in the works since September 2016. Reliable logistics solutions have been traditionally elusive in most African countries. Many of the existing solutions can be too expensive or difficult to access. Despite there being a high demand for transportation services since most of Africa’s goods transportation is undertaken by road, Kamtar identified a need to effectively link transporters and their customers. When done properly, logistics services can have positive impact on the overall economy by improving both access to goods and pricing for the end-user. The services offered by Kamtar are varied, including moving, internal logistics and delivery. In a matter of seconds, customers in Abidjan can book a vehicle for immediate or delayed use. The platform has already registered over 1000 vehicles – from motorcycles to trucks. Customers can make a booking either via telephone or the internet. All they are required to do is provide the details of the transport job they require doing, and the platform matches this to a truck driver registered on Kamtar. A quotation is then provided for the customer to review and accept. Payment is at completion of the job ensuring customers only pay for services rendered. The startup operates a customer service phone line where customers can confirm or modify their requests. Pricing is calculated according to the service chosen and distance travelled. Kamtar makes a 10-15% commission and ensures the goods are geotagged and insured. Drivers receive trip details on the Kamtar app which they’ll also use to update both Kamtar and the customer at every step of the journey – departure, loading, and unloading. Customer can conveniently track the driver on a map, essential in a country like the Ivory Coast with no physical addresses. To ensure competence, Kamtar extensively focuses on driver training. A lot of drivers registering on the platform may be illiterate and/or lacking the tech skills to effectively operate on the platform. The startup ensures drivers are well trained to be able to deliver a professional and seamless operation. The company is expanding into the whole of the Ivory Coast. Another aim is to set up in a second African francophone country. Speaking to jeuneafrique, co-founder Arthur Thuet signalled intention to optimize transport flow, stating, “An important issue is the optimization of transport flows. The empty return of the truck generates significant costs” [translated from French]. Being on both ends of a corridor by setting up in a bordering country would allow Kamtar to rationalise return journeys. Kamtar is certainly on the right track and making good use of a successful pre-seed round announced just before launch in January 2018. The pre-seed round raised € 200,000 led by the French investment firm Saviu Ventures.

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