Nigeria

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In 2011, young Obi Ozor used his savings and loans from his family and friends to set up Bezmo Global to import second-hand trucks from the US and sell them in Nigeria. Despite suffering from kidney failure issues, he managed to run the business for four years to earn money to pay for his medical treatments. He fully recovered and moved to Michigan to continue his education.At the University of Michigan, Ozor met Ife Oyedele II and the two friends started an e-commerce venture to sell diapers and baby soap from the US to customers in Nigeria. Ozor moved to the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a BA International Relations and Finance at Wharton School of Business. In 2014, he gained some work experience in investment banking at JP Morgan in New York.In 2015, Ozor returned to Nigeria and joined Uber as operations coordinator. In 2016, the serial entrepreneur and his friend Oyedele co-founded Uber-style logistics platform Kobo360 in Lagos.

After graduating in business administration at the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2013, Ife Oyedele II stayed on at the university to obtain a master’s in information technology in 2016.While studying in Michigan, Oyedele met up with Obi Ozor and the two friends started an e-commerce venture to sell diapers and baby soap from the US to customers in Nigeria. Ozor later moved to Philadelphia to continue his studies at Wharton School.Still at university, he gained work experience in business intelligence at Michigan consultancy firm CFI Group for about three years. He has also conducted some research for pharma group iLabs and completed stints in business analysis and quality assurance at various companies. In May 2014, he joined General Fuels company in Detroit and worked as a business manager for almost two years.In 2016, Ozor and Oyedele co-founded Uber-style logistics platform Kobo360 in Nigeria. Oyedele was CTO at Kobo360 until 2020 when he became the company’s Chief Growth Officer.

Nigerian investment bank and investor CardinalStone Partners was founded in 2008. It invests in enterprises with the potential to transform diverse sectors deemed to be strategic to the development of the economies in Nigeria, Ghana and other West African countries.The VC also reviews potential investments in relation to their ESG impact. CardinalStone currently has six companies in its portfolio including Nigerian gym chain i-Fitness and Nigerian fintech Appzone. In 2020, it raised $50m for a new private equity fund, CardinalStone Capital Advisers Growth Fund. 

Unlocking the potential of pan-African commerce, on-demand logistics platform Kobo360 is scaling its trucking network across borders to speed up deliveries and reduce transportation costs.

Founded in 1999, TLCOM Capital now has offices in Kenya, Nigeria and the UK. Originally a global VC investor, its key investment objective now is to tackle Africa’s greatest challenges via its TIDE Africa Fund that was established in 2017.Total funding to date stands at $300m and investments range from $500,000 to $10m.  It currently has 12 portfolio companies and has managed 13 exits. Recent investments include the $6m Series A round of Kenyan agro-focused insurtech PULA and the $7.5m Series A round of Nigerian edtech uLesson Education.

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